A Simple Suggestion In These Trying Times

Okay, it’s not mine… But here’s a chuckle that might help everyone who’s been struggling recently (that would be all of us):

Hope that brightened everyone’s day.  Memetic Press will return soon, folks!  We’re on economic hiatus, as well.

Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle

An Open Letter To The President-Elect Of The United States Of America

tideofhope

Mr. Obama,

Forgive the rather unwieldy and crude medium by which I choose to address you.  However unlikely it is that you’ll actually read this message, I felt it would have a better chance of completing it’s intended journey from an open internet forum than at the bottom of a White House mail bin.

Firstly, congratulations on one of the most decisive electoral victories I’ve seen in my lifetime.  In terms of clear mandates, yours is nearly transparent.  Also, Obama victory parties had way better weed than McCain parties would have, so thanks for a great Tuesday.

obama-wants-to-legalize-marijuana

I should begin by explaining precisely why you did not receive my vote.  Ironically or understandably, depending on your political persuasion, it is much the same reason John McCain did not receive my vote.  It is certainly not a referendum on you as a thinker, orator, or campaigner.  It is also not a referendum on Senator McCain as an able and moderate member of the government for many years.  In fact, as I’d written earlier, I am still of the belief that both the Republicans and the Democrats succeeded in putting their absolute best candidates forward during this election.

No sir, it was a statement on the nature of BOTH your parties, whom you have the unfortunate duty to represent to the world at large.  For as long as I’ve been alive, the Republicans have drawn support from religious fanatics whose presence in this society quite frankly makes me uncomfortable.  The Democrats meanwhile, have carried the banner of an economic and cultural policy born in the leftism of American academia.  This is an environment that seems to lean toward a British-modelled Orwellianism just as frightening as anything Pat Robertson could dream up, only with less Jesus.  Once upon a time, I could take comfort in that at least the Republicans favored LESS government with which to attempt to impose their will on me.  But the last eight years have proved that even Republicans can raid the Treasury, or in this case run up the Federal credit line.  BOTH parties are capable of limited-engagement unpopular foreign wars with ambiguous goals, though I will give you a Democrats sense of SCALE on the matter is generally smaller.

paintballtank

ABOVE: WAR UNDER DEMOCRATS

In short, I’ve seen a series of back-to-back catastrophes on the Presidential level, and until someone proves to me that they can do well in spite of the party they’re attached to, then both said parties can seek a vote elsewhere.  In other words, my vote is up for grabs every election, and I’d like to tell you how you can impress me enough to secure it for a 2012 re-election.  I know this is one man’s opinion, but I feel it’s statistically safe to say I’m not the only one thinking this at the moment.

First of all, I’m a rational person.  My expectations of your office aren’t messianic in nature by any means.  To hear some of the fawning tripe out there, half the country expects to have flying cars and health insurance by the end of the first hundred days.  I am not that person.  So long as you’re not vacationing at a ranch two hundred days out of the year, I can assume that you’re moving as fast as you can.

BUSH RANCH MODE

SEE THIS?  DON’T DO THIS.

But move you must, obviously.  And the question on punditry’s collective blabbering lips everywhere has been: Move how? My question, and the point of this posting, is this: Will you be the centrist you promised everyone during the election?

Much has been made from your campaign staff about “governing from the center”.  Your affinity for Lincoln’s method and idolization of the “Team Of Rivals” model is well noted.  And considering your initial pick for Secretary Of State, it looks as though you may on some level be adopting the same policy.  This is a good sign.

My concern, as a moderate, is that the party you represent may take advantage of your presence to push forward an agenda just as extreme on the left-hand path as the one everyone feared while strolling down the right-hand path these past eight years.  Their vehement push to get government assistance to the utterly failed auto industry bespeaks this sort of cronyism and agenda-based governing.  I do understand the unions helped you get elected, but on that issue I would implore you to inject some common sense into the argument at your first available opportunity.  I did not approve when seven hundred billion dollars went to stabilizing CEO paychecks, and I will approve even less if some of it is allocated to an industry whose crown jewel of innovation is the Chevy Aveo.

aveos

I’M SUPPOSED TO SUBSIDIZE CRAP WITH A HATCHBACK OPTION?

These are the kinds of moves that are going to drive the moderate base of this country away from supporting your initiatives in other areas.  On many issues, you and I are in agreement for reasons that are rational and cohesive.  The Gitmo detention facility is an international embarrassment of the first caliber.  Shut it down.  I can and do receive government car insurance, I may as well have access to your health insurance, too.  If you get your sights on Bin Laden, take the shot.  No one REALLY cares what Pakistan thinks about the matter.  And fund stem cell research till the cows come home.  I have Parkinson’s and ALS in my family history, and I’d like to live.

I don’t expect you to wave a magic wand to revive the economy.  I don’t even expect you to pull us out of Iraq, as I think you know doing so too precipitously would cause more trouble than going in did.  I would like to see a moderate, RATIONAL approach to the central issues of our age without having to let Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank conduct a hippie love-in on the Senate floor.  I know as the chief executive you only have so much power on domestic issues, but… they’re listening to you, sir.  They’re ALL listening.

And so am I.  If a Presidential candidate can actually turn into the President he portrayed himself as during the campaign, THAT would be change I can genuinely believe in.  What sent my vote to a third party candidate was my inability to believe that either you OR John McCain would turn out to be what they said they were.  With the election over, I can impart on its victor the honest desire that you will prove my cynicism wrong.  Please be the moderate you promised.  Please be the President we need.

Good luck.

Hail To The Chief…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle

The Last Gasp Of Greatness?

For everyones enjoyment, I’d like to present a bite-sized serving of funny.  Following that, I will proceed to gloriously over-think the implications of Mr. Stanhope’s astute observations.  But first, Doug Stanhope:

Don’t you hate when someone else puts something into words that you’ve been trying to express your whole life?  I happen to be just PAST partying age, among the last Americans born in the 1970’s, and I’ve been torturously wondering if it was really just me getting old, or if the kids really WERE getting more and more lame.  We already know they’re getting more clueless, but that’s not really their fault (maybe).  But surely they couldn’t be growing LESS rambunctious, could they?  That didn’t make sense.

ABOVE: THE 70’s

But Stanhope nailed it.  He provided the missing link to my aged dilemma.  When I was a young and growing Reagan Baby, I brought out the grump in my parental generation with NWA, Iron Maiden, and anything else that could be played at volumes GUARANTEED to fuck up our hearing later in life.  There were films that got personally denounced by the Pope, and musical groups whose entire careers HINGED on the legal trouble they produced just by saying some shit on a record.  What’s the “edgiest” thing young people are into today?  Emo?  Is that even still around?  What the FUCK?

Where are the teenagers I can be ANGRY at, instead of just feeling sorry for?  Where’s the Beastie Boys I can feel my blood pressure spiking over when it blasts out of a car window?  I want some young’ns I’d be PROUD to chase off my lawn with a shotgun, but these dipshits don’t even know which end of the spray can the paint comes out of.  It’s not enough to say they don’t care anymore.  Every generation since the 60’s has made it a point not to give a shit about the things the last generation did.  THESE assholes wouldn’t even know what to care ABOUT.  And if they ever tried, they’d probably only end up making feeble attempts to mimic the issues, themes, and genres of their elders, just like they do with their music.

IT WAS CALLED STAR SEARCH, WE INVENTED IT, AND IT SUCKED THEN TOO.

The terrible conclusion I draw from all this is very similar to what Stanhope alluded to.  Perhaps an end or reversal of the cycle of perpetual deviance represents the bottoming out of the soul market, if you will.  This could well be a significant sign of declining culture.  I have to wonder at what point some Roman generation or another looked at their children, sighed, and started complaining in the opposite direction?

LOOK AT THAT LITTLE PUNK.  I HAD ALREADY KILLED THREE GAULS AND FUCKED EVERY SLAVE IN THE HOUSE AT HIS AGE.  WHAT A FAG.

In the interest of providing a possible light to the end of this depressingly sobering tunnel, I’d like to explore an opposing hypothesis.  Perhaps this process is less linear than cyclical.  Perhaps pussification in Western society simply skips a generation, through mechanisms not yet fully understood.  It would make a certain degree of sense if you think about it broadly enough.  It could be said the WWII generation were shocked by their Baby Boomer children’s “deviancy”, but the impression I get is that those complaints were immediately followed by a sneering of the “soft” label on top of it.  After all, that was a generation that got all their youthful aggression and toil out in a five year period of either killing the shit out of people they’d never met, or working in a factory to build shit to kill people they’d never met.  If those were YOUR formative years, would you really be shocked and appalled at hippies for children, or just generally disgusted?  It COULD be that the majority of parental outrage that existed that time period had quite a different character than what’s been related to us.  I’m just saying.

WOULD THESE ASSHOLES REALLY CONCERN YOU IF YOU’D BEEN KNEE-DEEP IN SHIT AND BLOOD AT BASTOGNE?

Now, I’m a long way from claiming that my generation had to endure anything like a Depression and a World War, but with a lack of that we damn sure seemed to turn our destructive tendencies outward in a PLETHORA of creative ways.  The government was actively declaring a War On Fun from both sides, and that lasted pretty much through 9-11.  Today, most of the bullshit rules trying to curb the excess of the Reagan Babies are so indoctrinated people think it’s always been that way.  I’m one of the last Americans who remember a time before police acted like the military, when America looked across the vast sea and pretty much counted on doomsday at any minute, when there was FROM BIRTH a sense of imminent destruction and nothing left to do but blow your fucking mind out on whatever drugs you could find (or invent) and ride the wave into oblivion.  If it wasn’t gong to come from the Soviets (in the 80’s), it was gonna come from somewhere, dammit (90’s to the millennium).

ABOVE: THE 80’s

So maybe once every few generation the progress is going to kick out a softening up level of pansy to pad the flow of time.  Maybe evolution knows something we don’t, and that inserting a recessive nutless gene keeps the constant progression of badassery from ripping civilization off it’s hinges.  Maybe the CHILDREN of the current crop of dickcheeses will be so fed-up with Mommy and Daddy’s entitlement-minded Ritalin and Prozac rattled brainpans, they’ll LONG to see some ass kicking again.  Maybe, with careful guidance from their crazy-as-fuck grandparents and great uncles and shit, they’ll embark on a magnificent quest to make this country FUN again.  Parental advisories will be pissed on, cigarettes will be fired up indoors, and PG movies will show tits again!  Maybe…

That would be morning in America AND change I could believe in.

So to any unborn fetuses out there that aren’t being dosed with a lethal amount of sedatives because your mother is an idiot, and can one day grow to read this… Listen to your old people.  We’ll be in our fifties and sixties when you come of age.  Know this… the world wasn’t always this boring.  We can show you a different way.

Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev Battle

Just Something To Share

We all love crazy random shit on the internet.  Or I assume we all do, because I do and my reasoning is that’s what brought anyone reading this HERE in the first place.

Point is, whether it’s some YouTube-spawned future meme involving a rodent and music, or just a crazy picture of someones grandmother holding a Desert Eagle, crazy shit on the internet dominates the tubes to the point of congestion.

Occasionally however, in the midst of the random explosion of images brought about by the age of digital cameras and mass communication, something magical happens.  Sometimes from all this chaos is brought forth an image so beautiful, so utterly indescribable, that it transcends the surly bounds of EMail-forwarding schlop and enters the realm of true art.

It is today that I have found one such image.  And, to stimulate the minds of those reading this, I wish to share it below.

Be warned: It will move you, so scroll down only when you are prepared.  Enjoy.

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I know.  I too was left wordless.

Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle

My Yearly DragonCon Adventure

As most of you know, DragonCon is a pop-culture convention without apparent equal.  A 24/7 convention of dorky mayhem, it’s basically Mardi Gras for geeks, taking over a significant chunk of downtown Atlanta once a year.

As a member of the first generation of true Redneck geeks (that’s “Redneck” with a capital R folks… look it up), I consider it my solemn duty to attend every year I can.  That means I’ve been at pretty much every gathering since about 1995, each one its own unique experience.  From being solicited a viewing of “Clerks” by a very drunk Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith at my first visit before anyone knew who the hell they were, to being whacked with a riding crop by Voltaire in a most friendly manner at my latest, the occurrence known as DragonCon is always and forever a fine time for anyone open-minded enough to have it.

This year was marked mostly by my spreading the good word concerning AFTER, and it’s upcoming future.  Without babbling further on the subject, I’ll let the following pictures give you all a taste of the festivities, and we’ll leave it at that.  Do enjoy, and remember… geeks rule the world.  And the parts they don’t, they should.  Except for furries.  Fuck furries.

SECURITY WAS PRETTY TIGHT THIS YEAR

PASSED OUT, DRUNK, OR JUST A LOSER?  DOESN’T REALLY MATTER AT DRAGON-CON

THEY WERE ON A MISSION FROM GOD.

THEY CLONED HIM SMALL FOR RECON WORK.

HE FOUND HIS LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING.

THIS GUY WON MY ‘OLD-SCHOOL GEEK REFERENCE’ AWARD FOR THE CON.  GOONGALA GOONGALA!

EVEN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS… STILL FUCKING CREEPY.

BY DAY TWO, THEY WERE ALREADY CALLING IN LEGAL REPRESENTATION.

FUCK.  YES.

NORMALLY I DON’T NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS.  BUT I DID TRADE THESE GUYS A FIFTH OF WHISKY FOR A QUARTER BAG.  THEY GROW GOOD SHIT ON COBRA ISLAND.

YES, I GAVE HIM A HUG.

ONE BLACK SUIT PER CON.  THAT’S THE RULE, DAMMIT.

Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle

What We’ve Been Up To

As some of you (read: all of you) have noticed, Memetic Press has gone nearly a full month without either an AFTER update or a high-handed sanctimonious rant by yours truly.  Since those are the two things we tend to specialize in around here, that’s prompted some EMails wondering what, precisely, is up.

Well, basically we’ve all been busy as fuck.  So let me just hit a few high points about the Memetic Press agenda for the next few days, and in September I’ll get back to our regularly scheduled bombardment of vulgarity and heinousness.

First of all, DragonCon.  No, we’ve no table there, but YES the good Reverend Battle will be in attendance.  I’ll have AFTER sample issues to anyone who convinces me they need one and gets to me before I run out.  Also, make sure you talk to me before the fifth whiskey goes down, cause after that I promise nothing.

Secondly, if you look below you will see several images of a strange and wondrous thing.  This thing is a scale white model of the village of Warfield, which you AFTER readers will be familiar with.  Memetic Press’ own Hired Specialist is constructing this piece of in-progress brilliance in his laboratory even as I type this.  Why, you ask?

Well, that part’s a secret.  But not a very closed one.  Anyone finds me at DragonCon and buys the SIXTH whiskey, and maybe I can be talked into spilling the beans.  Otherwise, you’ll all just have to wait and learn with the rest of the world.  For now, feast your eyes on the brilliance:

Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle

AFTER Update!

Been a while since I’ve doled out new information on AFTER, Memetic Press’ foray into the comic book world.  Issue Two has been a long-running and ongoing process, due in part of the hectic and shoestring nature of indy comic book production, but mostly due to my own anal-retentive insistence on perfection.  I can’t go into the EXACT nature of Issue Two’s upcoming visual look, but I can say that it’s unique and groundbreaking.  And that it will be well worth the wait.

In the meantime, those looking for more AFTER teasers can check out the info page we’ve attached at the top tab here… A few canon-based bits of information that provide some back story, complete with illustration.  The apocalypse, my friends, will not be pretty.

While all that is going on, I have a podcast to recommend.  A very friendly dude named Doc (coincidentally enough) hosts a show called Heroes Of Science Fiction And Fantasy.  Excellent review show for all things geek-like, and the guy manages to score some kick-ass interviews.  Highly recommended for people interested in both the fan and creative side of production.

Of course, I bring this up right at THIS moment because his latest episode features an interview with yours truly.  I found Doc on the floor at WonderCon earlier this year, and told him all about AFTER.  For anyone unfamiliar with the book, listening to me ramble on about it is actually a pretty good place to start.  You can listen to the latest show here:

PARIS ‘REV’ BATTLE INTERVIEWED AT WONDERCON

But I do advise hooking up to his main page and finding the backlog, because Doc’s shows are damned interesting.

More to come soon enough, folks.

Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle