Why Returning to Blogging is Zero Cool

After the May Little Mermaid tea party, the reprise of a blogging challenge in which participants write on a theme selected by our Little Mermaid herself, I retreated from blogging. I felt slowing down would not be a problem. It’s been an unusual summer.

The first month or so of summertime here was a month of cool temperatures, and rain. It seemed like a different place.

I’ve been doing the same work, in the physical world, which is taking care of a cemetery with the direction of my father.

The title of the post is intended to be ironic. I get quite a bit of satisfaction from blogging. We are also active on Facebook, with a business page for which I curate content, once a day or less.

Maple Lawn Cemetery https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Occasionally, I highlight snapshots of the cemetery, for people who know of it, to create a sense of what’s going on. It would be nice, I think, to be involved in video micro blogging, and in podcasting, but perhaps Facebook and a blog are enough, at least for the present.

Photographer:
Negative Space

We have a site for the cemetery: http://www.maplelawncemetery.org  I am sure we will continue to evaluate what is working for us and what isn’t.

I hope to post blog entries with some frequency and structure, with the dual aim of being transparent, allowing room for creativity, and, occasionally, the opportunity to meander.

I am looking forward to seeing what happens, especially as summer is leaving us rapidly. I will take it from there. I appreciate you reading and I wish you well.

May God Bless

Should The Little Mermaid devise another blog challenge, I may participate; above and beyond that I anticipate blogging to make headway in light of the work I do, at the cemetery.  Tea Party – The Little Mermaid

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The Whispering Doll

In response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #26, I wrote a piece of flash fiction this morning inspired by an illustration Fandango blogged. #FFFC

Fandango

Robot servicables, three in number, stood by the entry port to the cultural receiving destination, completing their ask of assisting humans reaching the district. The latest car sailing above the rail beams pulled to a halt and the door was thrown back, revealing the people inside, a woman thirty or thirty-two years in age, and a little girl with her, both dressed for the chill night air. The woman wore quality fleece and held hands with the child, perhaps eight years old, likewise dressed for the temperature in fleece hanging from the shoulders to the knees.

The little girl with her arms cradled a doll, looking like it was crafted from porcelain and dear to the child.

The doll resembled a classical design for a child’s toy, but its mouth, red rose lips, curled into a smile, fitted by its manufacturer with an oval speaker that permitted the doll to speak, a pricey but not uncommon companion, to speak to a child from a family with privilege. The doll had a low-level mind that collected sentiments occurring to the little girl, her perceptions of her surroundings and the denizens nearby. As the girl gazed upon the servicables standing upright on the platform, where the car was letting the two girls go, quiet for at once being in the open air, the sound of a whispered murmur escaped into the night.

The little girl reached forth and gripped the adult’s arm. The doll’s sentience was clear. The porcelain figurine’s lyrical but artificial voice reached the little girl.

“Tell me what you saw, for her sake!”

Author: Fandango

A Rock Musician’s Death

I learned on Facebook the other day that David Berman has died. The record label Drag City discussed it with sadness and admiration. With shock I listened to several of the songs he penned. It is a terrible loss that he is gone.

@dragcityrecords

David Berman, the poet, cartoonist, and singer-songwriter behind Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, has died… “We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone. Rest easy, David.” Berman was 52 years old.

His lyrics inspire. When I had a trusted young friend in the nineties, I gave her my David Berman, Steve Malkmus & Bob Nastanovich Starlite Walker CD, and she was thrilled. It was a point of pride to have some poetry amid more serious business.

With a lot of talent went terrible sadness. Berman eventually publicly discussed his hatred for his father, which is terrible.

The music remains. It is wonderful, indeed. I hope that fans remember Berman with more than just sadness–you can hear on the early fuzzy Arizona Record how triumphant Berman sounds, and it was years and years ago. In every album he made, it sounds like the work of a great and profound musician, cheeky and moving and fascinating.

I wanted to say this because a loss is a part of life. When a friend from high school years ago, at last, died this spring, my parents and I took flowers to her grave, and I thought how easy it is to dismiss life and death, but mourning needs to be reverent, somehow.

It has been hard on Berman’s fans. I’m sure many bid him farewell. It is a burden to say goodbye, but his music will continue to transfix and bewitch and transcend. Goodbye, David Berman.

Mermaid’s May 2019 WordPress Tea Party

Stephen Malkmus

The Little Mermaid website belongs to a blogger who organizes month-long tea parties, inclusive blog hops that invite participants to mix and to write collectively on a theme.  I have read some new bloggers, accordingly, and enjoyed some new bloggers accordingly.

May’s theme is “music.” It’s a fun theme. https://www.thelittlemermaid.site/join-in-the-fun-join-in-the-may-2019-tea-party/

While music is not my lifestyle, I hear some.  My taste runs to College Rock, Electropop, Art Rock, Folk-Rock, and Soundtrack.

I can’t play an instrument, but it’s lovely to think of the musicians who make social media the method to make a name for themselves. Before the days of social media, musicians had to count on other resources to become successful.

One song I have a preference for is the Stephen Malkmus single Jenny & the Ess-Dog.  STEPHEN MALKMUS “Jenny & The Ess-Dog” (2000) https://tinyurl.com/yyebecd8

  Malkmus had broken away from his famous band Pavement, and I remember his next band the Jicks did Jenny & the Ess-Dog for his first appearance on David Letterman.  I don’t believe he had ever been on Letterman’s show.

I regard him as a favorite.  Pavement – Perfume-V https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5qnAwmVTv0

Stephen Malkmus
@EvaMcGreggor

I find music to be a pleasant pastime.  I’ve heard of painters, for example, who play music while they work on a canvas, or the like.  I often play the radio, or the streaming app Spotify, when I blog, do Facebook and Twitter, clean the apartment, those kinds of household business.

I’d like to thank The Little Mermaid for helping with such a great idea as the monthly tea parties.  Such are the fruits of blogging with WordPress.

Let’s hope there are more tea parties down the road and thank you for reading about my experience.

You can see me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons.  You’re welcome to “like” this post, to comment, and/or to “follow.”  Have a beautiful springtime.

Boldness of The Skywalker Saga: Where’d You Go?

Dedicated to a love of Star Wars, Celebration this month in Chicago flabbergasted fans.  The assembly included panel discussions and all manner of Star Wars exhibits, and also celebrity appearances, a teaser for Episode IX, along with trailers for EA’s game Jedi:  Fallen Order, The Clone Wars S7, and The Mandalorian.  The celebration also took a look back at The Phantom Menace, embracing the sci-fi franchise once again.


StarWars.com

I took in some of it owing to its availability on YouTube.  Celebration, I recall, is nine years in the running, and in 2019 it highlights Episode IX.  Celebration revealed the title of Episode IX, and a teaser trailer.  There is excitement in the business sector of the entertainment industry, being the introduction of Disney+.  Disney+ is making available animated features from Disney’s history of films, along with Marvel Cinema Universe titles from the last ten or eleven years, and the Star Wars films, of which by now there are several.

The reason I enjoy Star Wars is that when J. J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens, I felt the excitement that Star Wars was again back speaking to me.  It seemed to again be a film series to be passionate about.

The response following Celebration did not completely line up with the positive outlook of the fortunate people who went to Celebration in person.  While most everybody there loved what’s going on, some of the YouTube channels who discuss Star Wars have mixed feelings, to say the least.  Geeks + Gamers criticized the teaser for Episode IX, The Quartering was dismissive, and a union of voices on the Internet ridiculed reactions that were exuberantly emotional.  All that is best measured against the outpouring of support for the franchise.

It is almost as if there is a guilty conscience about being part of the Fandom Menace and hating The Last Jedi, but still wanting to see what Episode IX is about.  I am sure the average fan does not feel this way.  I waited for The Last Jedi to go to Netflix, but I enjoyed it.


Photographer:
Tim Mossholder

The influence of Star Wars is hard to comprehend, but there is a war indeed between the feelings a fan has for Star Wars in the nineteen seventies and eighties, and equivalent satisfaction with the new trilogy, however much it taps into your experience of Star Wars and however deep it runs within you that the original films were perfect.

Rian Johnson directed The Last Jedi, and while that film was a commercial success, the popular response to the movie, as, for example, those voices on the Internet made known on Rotten Tomatoes, divided the fans.

None of this will be settled until December, but there will be a lot of excitement that grows this summer and fall.  As is typical of hot takes, animosities, apprehension, and outrage for Star Wars will be evident in the backlash that is going, “to battle,” for whatever reasons.

Publishous this month presented the Where’d You Go writing prompt.  Publishous is an 11,000-strong Medium newsletter which presents and highlights Christian writers who seek to make it, in the sense that they are writing because of the compulsion they feel to do so.  Although I’m not a member of Publishous, I look over articles they present, which provide some inspiration to blog in light of their writing prompts.

I am also a volunteer at a cemetery, Maple Lawn Cemetery, and I am their SMM.  You can find out more about us here: http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

Thank you, and please feel welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.  All the best.

Star Wars Celebration on YouTube: Where’d You Go? Chicago

It’s Good Friday, and I’m having browser issues.  Microsoft put up an alpha version of its Edge browser, and I tried, like a web developer, to surf it before it’s finished, and it lasted maybe three days.

Star Wars Celebration went on from April 11 to April 15 in Chicago.  The celebration is an army of devotees sharing a love of Star Wars.  This year Star Wars Celebration premiered a teaser for Episode IX, a preview of Star Wars series The Mandalorian, the cinema for Jedi:  Fallen Order, and a trailer for S7 of The Clone Wars.  It is all interesting.

Being that this year is 2019 and that Lucasfilm put The Phantom Menace, a prequel film to Star Wars, in the cinema in 1999, the twenty-year anniversary of Phantom Menace was observed.


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace score
S

Five days is a long time to spend with Star Wars, but between Thursday and Monday a viewer watching the events on the Star Wars YouTube channel got to see the panel discussions each day at 12:00 and 4:00 Chicago time.  Celebration, which I think is nine years running, moves around the US, but this year they put it on in Chicago.  Given the audience’s enthusiasm, it seems like that worked well for them.


Photographer:
donterase

Jedi:  Fallen Order is the name of the EA game that is the first new Star Wars game since Battlefront II.  EA is a notoriously difficult game company.  The decisions EA makes are known to send gamers away.

I suspect Disney needs Episode IX in December to be a sensation if they want their investment in Disney+ to succeed.  Disney+ is the streaming service available this fall, in November, when Disney is making available their animated features, along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the Star Wars films, and The Mandalorian.  Disney+ could rival Netflix, and it is expensive for Disney in the short term, so it is reasonable to think that if Episode IX is a major success, it is an indication Disney+ will do well.

It is hard to anticipate what Netflix is planning in response to its rival.  If there is already talk about what Netflix is going to do, I haven’t caught it.

I believe that Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy is leading Lucasfilm for the next ten years, and her decisions to put a lot of roles that are empowering for girls affect her hold on the Star Wars fanbase, because a large number of male fans of Star Wars have made a backlash owing to the perception that they are “toxic.”  A space opera such as Star Wars has a lot of male fans, so the response has been loud about how Star Wars has met its “demise” in the sense that there will never again be a great trilogy.  The next trilogy of Star Wars films is going to be directed by Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

The Last Jedi was the film that divided the fanbase, perhaps deliberately.  That said, there was a backlash to the Star Wars Prequels, which subsided, so the same may be true of the problems facing the Star Wars Sequels, the films The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and now Episode IX, concluding the Saga.  Be that as it may, The Mandalorian, continuing Return of the Jedi from 1983, looks fantastic.  Some of the success of Disney+ is probably going to be affected by whether Episode IX proves to be a giant.

Good luck to Lucasfilm.

You’re welcome to “like” this, to follow, and/or to comment.  The inspiration for Where’d You Go? is from the Medium publication newsletter Publishous, 11,000 strong and available every week or two.

SciFi Fandom Pride: Where’d You Go? “He tends to say whatever comes into his circuits.” – Cassian Andor, Rogue One

The Force Awakens

To think about pride, like for me familiarity with popular science fiction, it is true that in 2015, enthusiasm for the Star Wars films, Star Wars fandom, soared nearly beyond measure when Lucasfilm presented the Star Wars film The Force Awakens.

The realization was great that appreciation for the popular trilogy of films of the nineteen seventies and eighties was “striking back,” an achievement again like the success of Star Wars in the spring of 1977.  George Lucas nearly didn’t get his 1977 film made, according to accounts of what happened, and even though it is true that most film projects whether original in scope or not fail to get made, it is an endearing success story that Lucas made the movie.  The phrase “success story” lacks the weight behind what Star Wars actually did to Hollywood cinema, which was as expansive as what became of the Star Wars galaxy a long time ago and far away.


Photographer:
One Idea LLC

The fervor for Star Wars returning in 2015, helmed by J. J. Abrams, was awe-inspiring.  In fact, Star Wars’ ability to create awe is what gives it such a punch.  For The Force Awakens, original cast members from 1977 joined a new cast for a continuation of Return of the Jedi.

The Force Awakens was a giant success and seemed to bring with it the promise that Star Wars would be once more returning with aplomb and dedication.  Despite unravelling the plot of the original Star Wars films by undoing the Rebel Alliance’s success destroying Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and failing to bring Harrison Ford, the late Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill together in The Force Awakens, it was implied that untied ends and more importantly the reunion between the actors from the original movies would appear in Star Wars Episode VIII in 2017, directed by Rian Johnson.

Discouragingly, Johnson’s film about Star Wars horrified and divided the Star Wars fandom, by dismantling thoughtlessly a trove of Star Wars lore, failing to shoot what would have been an extremely important reunion of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo, and, also front and centre, bringing identity politics into the movie.

There has always been a deep-felt pride in Star Wars and while I’m a Canadian, I felt pride when Star Wars returned loud and strong in 2015 with The Force Awakens.  Then I felt that pride evaporate when I realized that The Last Jedi is potentially ruining Star Wars, which sounds catastrophic and yet is indeed a possibility.  There is every chance that the best science fiction, at least science fiction on film, the best of the entire twentieth century, will be undone if Episode IX fails at the box office.

The rest of Star Wars will be history.

There are voices on the Internet, the fandom, divided by The Last Jedi, that organized and presented a call to Disney to save the glory of Star Wars by insisting CEO Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy do the work to successfully market Episode IX, for which we have not yet heard a title or seen a trailer.  Star Wars Celebration is in a few days, helping Star Wars on its way.  Youtuber and filmmaker Star Wars Theory has promised to upload video he’ll shoot at Celebration.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CbFnDTYkiVweaz8y9wd_Q

In the event that Episode IX is good, the Star Wars fandom will unite, and pride will spread throughout.

If the film flops, Star Wars will go to that great “clearance bin” in the sky.  I hope very much for pride but chances are it is through.

You are welcome to click “like,” to follow the blog, and/or to comment.