“Six Guys”

When I encountered this video from animator Ripley Howarth, I was convinced that I had seen it before yet if so it could not have been the entire video as this left me happily fulfilled. Who could imagine this effect from something firmly within the horror genre? But Howarth squared my circle.

The other thing Six Guys reminded me of was the 1965 film by Polish Director Wojciech Has, The Saragossa Manuscript. Well… they do have in common a magically surreal journey as a central part of the storytelling, but Six Guys is very much a horror movie.

Day of the Triffids…

…was the title of a 1951 post apocalyptic novel by John Wyndham (and later a movie) that could easily be either science fiction or horror; think I Am Legend by Richard Matheson but scratch the zombies and add predatory homicidal plants that relentlessly stalk their suddenly blinded victims. The plants, in my imagination, frequently looked something like this:

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Photo by Roman.

. But even if I could see it, could I tell if it were dead or just waiting…?

“Ghost Dogs”

You might think of this video from Joe Cappa as a dog’s version of the movie Get Out… or maybe not. It doesn’t try to make any larger commentary. It just takes the horror genre and plays with it:

“A rescue pup discovers its new home is haunted by the family‚Äôs deceased pets in this mind-bending horror.”

“Zeppelins”

April is National Poetry Month, and for the occasion Frank Hudson’s Parlando Project has been producing a series of “Lyric Videos” based on audio recordings of the poems done previously. The month is not even half over, but (so far) Hudson’s performance of “Zeppelins” by F.S. Flint is my favorite, though “Dunbar” is not far behind.

And of course, the poem is also so very appropriate to what is once again happening in Europe these days, not to mention elsewhere in the world none of which I’m not going to mention as I’m sure to shamefully leave somewhere or two off the list…

The term “lyric video” is also new to me though the practice is… not new. As a concept, though, it wraps up and gathers together poetry as oral interpretation and poetry as literature. As a bonus, one can throw in ancillary aspects like music, musicality, concrete poetry just to name-drop a few. Is pretty cool concept, methinks.

Pity Ukraine:

So close to Russia… So far from God…

Pity may rank near the bottom of what Ukrainians need right now, but savvy readers might notice the above is derived from what Mexicans have been saying about Mexico and the United States. Some will be offended because the same savvy readers, being hip to the ways of polemics, will anticipate a tantrum of what-about-isms, so let’s get that out of the way: Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico… I could toss in Hawaii and more, but you should have gotten the idea. If not, you have homework to do. Some might say these offenses are ancient history… Surely there is a statute of limitations that has passed? Well then, need I mention “weapons of mass destruction” and two recent U.S. Presidents, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, who had no respect whatsoever for international institutions unless occasionally as a fig leaf to be discarded when convenient.

I do not present these as a means of deflecting or obfuscating: Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is wrong. And it is dangerous, at one extreme leading to World War III and at another extreme leading to the break-up of Russia and at another extreme an endless parade of resource wars and accelerating arms races, including nuclear weapons for all. But our own sins are worth remembering because beyond individual behavior, moral arguments are mostly just useful to entertain those who need to pass judgements, and maybe for morale and winning elections.

Sanctions will not save Ukraine and any meaningful outside intervention runs a very real risk of a wider war — though if the Russian military is stalemated for a while, the threat of such intervention might inspire diplomacy… maybe. I don’t know. Wishful thinking, perhaps.

(Belarus is already more or less a part of Russia through its 2000 “Union State” treaty with Russia. Lukashenko, however, had best watch his back as those Russian troops are likely to remain in Belarus for As Long As Necessary. Now smile!)

What I do know is that here in the States, the political left is screwed. Again. Just as after the 9/11 attack, there will be money for weapons and fear will veto much of anything else, not to mention the unfortunate tendency among some parts of the left to imagine imperialism to be a behavior manifest exclusively by United States. Ideologues know how to win arguments but not much else.

I really don’t want to get back to doing political activism. Would you care to do it for me? Please?