Today’s thoughts.

  1. If Mueller’s report is particularly damning, then releasing it on the Ides of March would be one hell of a Shakespearean reference.
  2. Donald Trump autographing Bibles is like me autographing a Gold’s Gym membership. Or a calculus textbook.
  3. I’ll bet yesterday’s Facebook outage did more to prevent Russian meddling in America’s affairs than our President has.

 

 

Heyyyyyyyy, it’s Fake Friend Request Day on Facebook!!

Tip of the hat to the nonexistent pretty girls!!

Welcome to Facebook, which you just joined an hour ago!! And good luck at the new job, which … you apparently just started and hour ago … at MacDonald’s.

MacDonlad’s? That’s an interesting choice. Usually you ladies are all veterinarians and personal trainers and scuba instructors and such. Maybe you failed to prepare adequately in your fake school to prepare for your first choice of a fake job. Good luck with that.

I feel lucky, by the way, to be among the first six friends that you sought out on social media.  It’s a select group — just me and five other unmarried men whose immutably credulous and feckless expressions are apparent even in their profile pictures.

Do *I* have that expression?  (Probably.)

 

 

 

A short review of Season 4 of “The Strain”

The fourth and final season of “The Strain” was easily its weakest, but was still fun enough to merit an 8 out of 10.

Season 1 was a unique, detailed, methodically assembled techno-thriller crossbred with vampire mythology — you could tell that it was adapted from a pretty decent book series by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  The show’s subsequent seasons progressively meandered farther and farther into comic book territory … the fourth felt loosely and hastily plotted, with spotty and confusing exposition.  (I was considerably confused until late in the game about who deployed nuclear weapons in the war between vampires and humans, when they did so, and what their strategy was.)

But what the hell.  I still enjoyed this.  The writers here still know where their bread is buttered, and gave survival-horror fans more of the screwball guilty pleasures they were tuning in for.  There was plenty of blood and gore (even if it’s only the white, worm-infested vampire blood that I suspect was easier for the censors to approve). There were more of the show’s creepy, cringe-inducing monster effects.  And there was plenty of action — right up until a finale that was predictable but cool.  (If you’ve been following the show the way I have, do you not want to see machine guns, explosions, swords and severed vampire heads?)

Richard Sammel consistently outshined everyone in his role as the WWII Nazi turned vampire Himmler.  What an extraordinary villain.)  It’s a further testament to his talent that the man actually appears sublimely good-natured in real life.  (He interacts with his fans from time to time on Facebook.)

The show actually surprised me, too, by how attached I got to its characters.  It hasn’t always been a show that is strong on its characters, but … I’m going to miss them.  Vasily Fet (Kevin Durand) and “Dutch” (Ruta Gedmintas) were two in particular that I found myself surprisingly attached to — especially considering that Dutch was a superfluous character that seems to have been added only for sex appeal and romantic tension.  I was rooting for both of them.

So I’d still recommend “The Strain,” despite Season 4’s failings.  To quote Jack Nicholson’s Joker in 1989’s “Batman,” “I don’t know if it’s art, but I like it.”  (Yes, I do know that Walt Disney said it first.  Whatever.)

 

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Throwback Thursday: skipping church!

Here’s a vivid summer memory — and it comes to me courtesy of my dear old friend Sarah in New York, who posted this picture on Facebook not too long ago.  Below is the very beach on Long Island where my older brother and I would park in the early 1980’s when we were supposed to be at church on Sunday morning.

We would eat Entenmann’s donuts and we would listen to WBLI on the radio.  (If you are from Suffolk County, you can’t not hear the chipper WBLI jingle every time you read those four letters.)  If memory serves, the station played Casey Kasem’s countdown on Sunday mornings.

I was pretty young, and I was awed that my brother deemed me cool enough and trustworthy enough to conspire with him in playing hooky from the service.  I was fully complicit, too.  It was my job to run in and out of the church quickly before the service started, in order to grab the Sunday bulletin, with which my mother had instructed us to return every week.

The first time I colluded with my brother this way, I overdid it a little.  Upon our return and gave my mom a lot of unrequested detail about the priest’s sermon, and what it had meant to be.  My brother later pulled me aside in the room we shared, and gave me some sage coaching: “You don’t need to make up a whole big story.”  That was the first time in my life that I learned not to over-embellish a lie.

You see that?  You can learn a lot from a religious upbringing.

 

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“Justice League America” illustration, “Who’s Who in the DC Universe” #7, Adam Hughes, 1991

Drawn by Adam Hughes, inked by Karl Story, and colored by Anthony Tollin.

(I had to consult the Facebook nerd-hive-mind to find out the creative team behind this piece — thanks to Charlie McElvey for the info, and, by extension, Frank Becker. 🙂 )

 

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Publication notice: Eric Robert Nolan to be featured via the “Poems-For-All” project.

I’m honored today to share some terrific news — four samples of my writing will be featured via Richard Hansen’s unique “Poems-For-All” project in California.  As the video below shows, Mr. Hansen produces miniature “books” of poetry that are about the size of business cards.  They can then be distributed randomly.

Here’s the description on the Facebook page for Poems-For-All: “They’re scattered around town — on buses, trains, cabs, in restrooms, bars, left along with the tip; stuffed into a stranger’s back pocket. Whatever. Wherever. Small poems in small booklets half the size of a business card. To be taken by the handful and scattered like seeds by those who want to see poetry grow in a barren cultural landscape.”

The poems selected were “Consciousness Haiku” and the first stanza of “Confession.”  (Mr. Hansen suggested it worked fine as a standalone poem.)  “Confession” first appeared at Dead Beats Literary Blog in 2013, and was then featured last year by Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine.

In addition, Mr. Hansen selected my 100-word horror story, “There in the Bags,” as well as my entries for the popular online Six-Word-Sci-Fi Story Challenge.  (He also publishes micro-fiction in the “little book” format.)

This is such a cool, unique project, and I’m grateful to be able to participate.

For more information on Poems-For-All, check out the video below.  Or you can visit the blog for the project here: https://poems-for-all.com/.