KRAD COVID reading #39c: “-30-” Part 3

Back in 2011, Steven Savile invited me, along with Jordan Ellinger, Jason Fischer, and Alex Black, to contribute to a four-part series called Viral, which tied into current events involving the war on terror, inoculations in Third World countries, and other fun stuff. The four novelettes were published in spring 2012. My contribution was entitled “-30-,” about a journalist who gets what may be the story of a lifetime, assuming he lives long enough to write it.

Here’s the third and final part of that story. Part 1 was was Monday, and Part 2 was Wednesday. Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Swarm”

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The EMH sings opera, loses his memory, and meets his maker. Plus Voyager encounters nasty aliens, prompting Janeway to violate all the principles she said she’d follow for no compellingly good reason. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch is overwhelmed by “The Swarm.”

An excerpt:

At least the EMH plot is fun for a while, because Robert Picardo is always awesome, so two Robert Picardos is twice the awesome! From singing opera while wearing a ridiculous wig to his heartbreaking loss of memory to the even snottier Zimmerman, Picardo is superb throughout. On top of that, Jennifer Lien puts in a fantastic performance, as Kes argues vehemently and passionately for the EMH’s rights as a person. She was the first one on board to treat the doctor as a person rather than a computer program, and she values his friendship too much to just let him be reset without a fight.

midweek music: “Stimela”

During the Graceland tour, one of the songs that Hugh Masekela performed was “Stimela,” the story of the coal train to Johannesburg that brought poorly paid workers to their mining jobs. It’s a powerful version of a powerful song about the exploitation of black workers by white bosses.

KRAD COVID reading #39b: “-30-” Part 2

Back in 2011, Steven Savile invited me, along with Jordan Ellinger, Jason Fischer, and Alex Black, to contribute to a four-part series called Viral, which tied into current events involving the war on terror, inoculations in Third World countries, and other fun stuff. The four novelettes were published in spring 2012. My contribution was entitled “-30-,” about a journalist who gets what may be the story of a lifetime, assuming he lives long enough to write it.

Here’s Part 2. Part 1 was was Monday, with Part 3 to come on Friday. Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Chute”

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It’s The Inevitable Our Heroes Are Trapped In An Alien Prison episode, and it’s not all that and a bag of chips, but the stuff back on Voyager with Janeway trying to track her people down is superb. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch tries not to fall down “The Chute.”

An excerpt:

This one doesn’t really rise above the pack to stand out much. Indeed, it has less oomph than it might, because whatever pathos might be generated by Kim and Paris being forced to be extra-violent and nasty to survive is ruined by the presence of the clamp. This isn’t Kim having to tap into his violent side in order to survive, this is his violent side being forced on him by technology.

As a result, the scenes in the prison lose their bite, because everyone’s mean and nasty and ugly and rotten in this prison, so it doesn’t give us a chance to illuminate Paris or Kim’s character, it just shows them being artificially nastier than before. Yawn.

Monday music: “Township Jive”

In 1986, Paul Simon released Graceland, several songs from which used South African musicians and South African musical styles. When he went on tour to support the album, he had a backup band made up almost entirely of South African musicians (led by the great Ray Phiri on guitar), and also brought along singer Miriam Makeeba, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and a cappella masters Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Here’s how they opened their shows, with a great folk song called Township Jive that featured, well, everybody…..

KRAD COVID reading #39a: “-30-” Part 1

Back in 2011, Steven Savile invited me, along with Jordan Ellinger, Jason Fischer, and Alex Black, to contribute to a four-part series called Viral, which tied into current events involving the war on terror, inoculations in Third World countries, and other fun stuff. My contribution was entitled “-30-,” about a journalist who gets what may be the story of a lifetime, assuming he lives long enough to write it.

Here’s Part 1, with Parts 2 and 3 to come on Wednesday and Friday. Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Faust: Love of the Damned

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We bring our brief revival of the great superhero movie rewatch to another pause as we look back at a film I missed the first time through, Faust: Love of the Damned, based on the comic by David Quinn & Tim Vigil. In all honesty, I’d have been okay with continuing to miss it………

An excerpt:

Brian Yuzna’s movie based on the source material is at least easier to follow along visually, but the dialogue isn’t really any better. What’s especially odd is that the movie is less invested in Jaspers than it is pretty much any other character in it. He disappears for an extended period in the back end of the movie, and when he does show up, he’s catatonic for most of the climax. His story is truncated, ineffective, and uninteresting, and the movie can’t even be bothered to explain exactly how and why he came back from being buried alive.

It doesn’t help that Mark Frost plays him with bug-eyed blankness, except when he’s in the Faust makeup, at which point he tries to funny and psychotic and utterly fails, not aided by the rubber horns he’s wearing wobbling every time he moves, making it impossible to take him in any way seriously.