Not a Blog

Shae and Sibel

June 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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Never judge a book by its cover, or an actor by the character he or she portrays.

Most of you only know Sibel Kekilli for her portrayal of Shae in HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.   In her native Germany, of course, Sibel is recognized for a wide variety of other roles, including a long stint on the popular police procedural TATORT, the German LAW & ORDER.  She is also a two-time winner of the Lola Award (the German Oscar) for Best Actress for her starring roles in WHEN WE LEAVE and HEAD-ON.

Sibel is more than just a gifted actress, however.   She is a kind and gentle and compassionate person as well, one that I am proud to know… and she is a woman of rare courage.  In these dark and highly politicized times, when the safest course for any public figure is silence and smiles, Sibel has never hesitated to speak her mind, giving of her time, her money, and her fame to help others.   Every time she speaks up, she subjects herself to another flood of abuse, slurs, death threats, and the like… but she persists, nonetheless.

Sibel Kekilli is a true hero.

She has worked for years for Terre des Femmes, fighting violence against women all around the world.

Terre des Femmes

Now Sibel has a new venture: working with PAPATYA to rescue girls (from the ages of 13 to 21) threatened with forced child marriages and abductions.  Sibel has recently used her own funds to buy computers for the girls.   She’s also lent her support to an on-line counseling site, SIBEL ( named after her character from HEAD-ON) to offer advice and help to those who need it.

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She has my admiration and support.  I hope she has yours as well.

 

Current Mood: determined determined

Stuff and Nonsense

May 4, 2019 at 9:24 am
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Just a few jots about various things going on these days, in my life and in the world at large.

Saw the new Avengers movie last night.  ENDGAME is amazing.  Kudos to the writers and director.  I cannot believe they got all those characters into one film, and still managed to do them all justice.   The final battle was epic, exciting, thrilling, full of twists and turns… and strangely beautiful.  But the character scenes earlier in the film really made it for me.   The opening with Hawkeye, the Ant-Man scenes, Tony Stark’s moments communing with his helm… so many more.  There’s plenty of action here, but this is not just A Big Dumb Action movie, of which there are far too many these days.   Stan Lee would have been proud.  Could he ever have dreamed that all those characters he and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko and the rest of the Marvel team created in the early 60s would one day come to dominate global culture?  There’s an amazing story for you.

Oh… and yay for the rat.   The unsung hero.   They should make him an honorary Avenger.

On other fronts… my imaginary history book, FIRE & BLOOD, had a good long run on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List, hanging on for more than three months in the top ten before finally sliding off.   But hey, hey, hey, as of this week, I’m back!   My Targaryen history has reappeared at #9 on the hardcover fiction list, up from #12.   You can’t keep a good dragon down.

(You can get autographed copies of FIRE & BLOOD from the bookstore at my Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.  We also have signed copies of all my other books, as well as novels by many other writers… most recently, Alan Brennert and Marlon James).

The graphic novel of STARPORT, adapted and drawn by the talented Raya Golden from a television pilot I wrote in 1994, is also out, and doing nicely.   Raya did a beautiful job, and there’s a chance that there will be more STARPORT graphic novels coming your way in the future.  ((Based on my world and characters, but no, not written by me, I don’t have the time, so calm on down)).   Who knows?  Maybe even the TV series it was originally meant to be.  And wouldn’t THAT be wonderfully exciting.

Oh, and speaking of television, don’t believe everything you read.   Internet reports are notoriously unreliable.  We have had five different GAME OF THRONES successor shows in development (I mislike the term “spinoffs”) at HBO, and three of them are still moving forward nicely.   The one I am not supposed to call THE LONG NIGHT will be shooting later this year, and two other shows remain in the script stage, but are edging closer.   What are they about?  I cannot say.   But maybe some of you should pick up a copy of FIRE & BLOOD and come up with your own theories.

Purely as a viewer, no connection whatsoever, I am enjoying the hell out of the new HBO drama GENTLEMAN JACK.  Only two episodes in, but it’s very well done.  And of course, VEEP is as funny as ever… much funnier than real politics.

Out in the real world, I was pleased that Joe Biden finally announced his candidacy for president.   There are a lot of good Democrats running, maybe too many, and I’d probably vote for any one of them over the present blot upon the Oval Office.  The main things I want in a nominee, however, are twofold: (1) someone who can beat Trump, and (2) someone who would actually be a good/ great president.   Biden qualifies on both counts.  Also, the speech he gave announcing his run was kickass… and so, so true.  I wish him well.

Lots lots more going on, but I have pages to write.   ’nuff said.

 

 

 

Current Mood: busy busy

Monsters From The Id

December 8, 2017 at 1:58 pm
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Who says the science fiction is not prophetic?

Remember this:

“The secret devil of every soul on the planet all set free at once… ”

The Krel Machine has been built.

We call it The Internet.

Current Mood: scared scared

A Poem, on Memorial Day

May 29, 2017 at 5:29 pm
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I have posted this before, but it comes to mind every year on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.

Kipling said it better than I ever could.

Words to keep in mind.

Current Mood: sad sad

Shame On You, United

April 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm
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I don’t often comment on current events, but the story about the passenger that United Airlines beat bloody and dragged off a flight — for no reason but to accomodate some of their own deadheading employees, and despite the fact that he had a ticket that he’d bought and paid for and was doing nothing but sitting peacefully in his assigned seat — has me seeing red.

Jimmy Kimmel said it better than I could.

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I stand with Jimmy, with Alan Grayson, and with millions of other ordinary Americans from coast to coast who were outraged by these videos, and by the mealy-mouthed corporate bullshit the United’s CEO chose to offer afterwards.

One point Jimmy did not raise: in what world does an airline employee’s need to get to his next flight take precedence over a doctor’s need to return to his hospital?

The “police” who dragged the man off the plane and beat him do not deserve the name of police officers, and should be fired immediately. “They were just following orders” is no excuse.

The United CEO should also resign. He’s a disgrace.

I am old enough to remember when airlines were regulated, and passengers had rights. But we deregulated the airlines, and now passengers are cattle. The present rule seems to be just what Kimmel says: do what we say, or else. You may have given us your money, but we owe you nothing.

And here’s the cherry for your (bloody) sundae: United has also announced plans to begin charging passengers for carry-on luggage.

Facts

January 26, 2017 at 2:54 pm
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The late great Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

So make no mistake, when Kellyanne Conway talks about “alternative facts,” what she means is lies.

Here’s another quote for you: ““If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

That one is from Josef Goebbels. Keep him in mind when you hear the big lies repeated ad nauseum.

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Bad Presidents

January 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm
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Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

But sometimes fiction can take truth and turn it up to eleven.

We all know how the recent presidential election turned out in the real world. Hilary Clinton won by three million votes, but Donald Trump is going to take office in a week and a half, thanks to the electoral college, James Comey, and some Russian hackers. I’ve seen a lot of Trump voters saying, yes, Trump was bad, but they thought Clinton was worse, so… lesser of two evils and all that. (FWIW, I don’t think Hilary was evil, but even if we accept that premise, no way she was the lesser when up against the Pussygrabber-in-Chief).

I don’t want to talk real world politics here, however. We’ve done a lot of that this past year, and we have four more years of it ahead of us.

Instead I want to expand the “choice of evils” template with a little thought experiment, and weigh Trump against some fictional presidents and presidential candidates.

So… if the recent presidential election had pitted Donald Trump against Francis Underwood (HOUSE OF CARDS) and Gregg Hartmann (WILD CARDS), who would you have voted for?

And if you don’t know who Gregg Hartmann is… well, go check out our new Wild Cards website at http://www.wildcardsworld.com/ . Our plan is to keep the site fresh with blog posts every couple of weeks, and the first of those just went up: a rumination by Stephen Leigh on the long and storied career of Gregg Hartmann, aka Puppetman, whose saga lasted from the first volume of WILD CARDS all the way through volume fifteen.

Read it and enjoy, and post your choices here: Trump, Underwood, or Hartmann. With reasons.

NO off topic comments, please.

FWIW, Hartmann never did manage to achieve the White House in the Wild Cards universe. But Leo Barnett did, so I am not sure that’s a total win…

President Pussygrabber

November 9, 2016 at 10:14 am
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There are really no words for how I feel this morning.

America has spoken. I really thought we were better than this. Guess not.

Trump was the least qualified candidate ever nominated by a major party for the presidency. Come January, he will become the worst president in American history, and a dangerously unstable player on the world stage.

And the decimated Democrats, a minority in both House and Senate, do not have the power to hinder him.

Over the next four years, our problems are going to get much, much worse.

Winter is coming. I told you so.

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This, That, and t’Other Thing

November 6, 2016 at 6:10 pm
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Another football Sunday has come and gone, with mixed results for yours truly.

The Giants won, hanging on by the skin of their teeth to defeat the Iggles of Brotherly Luv. Gifted with an early 14-0 lead by two Carson Wentz INTs, they still almost managed to blow it. Eli threw his own INT just when it looked as if Big Blue was about to put the game away, but fortunately the defense saved him. Biggest worry coming out of the game was an injury to Victor Cruz, which I hated to see. He’s one of my favorite players. I hope he’s back next week.

The Jets, meanwhile, managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After trailing for most of the game, they seemed poised to take the lead in the fourth quarter, only to have Fitz throw a devastating pick in the end zone. Yet somehow they managed to get the ball back, and this time Fitz redeemed himself, tossing the go-ahead touchdown. But the joy did not last for long. On the ensuing kickoff, the Dolphins ran the ball all the way back for a TD, and that was that. Gang Green now has as many losses as they did all last year. The season is effectively over. Bryce Petty looked pretty good in the short stretch they had him in after Fitz got clocked. I hope we get to see more of him in the game to come. Much as I like Fitz, we have to start thinking about the future.

On other fronts…

The election still has me in a state of high anxiety. I am not sleeping well, and I think I check 538 about three dozen times a day, hoping for some good news. Tuesday cannot come fast enough for me. I think I speak for a lot of Americans when I say that I desperately want this thing to be over. It has been SO ugly. Come Tuesday night, I will either be relieved or suicidal. I think I speak for a lot of Americans about that as well.

Oh, and speaking of that: the Trump PACs have rolled out two new television ads in New Mexico this weekend. Both attack ads, natch. One is a cartoon with animated Bill and Hillary characters rolling up to the White House unpacking boxes of scandals. The other features an actress badly made up to be Hillary, in wig and pants suit, destroying phones and hard drives with hammers, drills, chain saws, and the like. Both ads are stupid and offensive, and both confirm and underline the main point I made in my “Simple Observation” post. Hillary’s ads feature real footage of the real Donald J. Trump saying the things he really said. These Trumps ads, on the other hand, have to resort to cartoons and over-the-top impersonators because they can’t actually find any real footage of Hillary saying or doing anything reprehensible, comparable to the stuff Trump has said.

I cannot possible imagine that any actual voters will be swayed by this stuff. “Hell, damn, I’m going to vote for Trump, did you see what Cartoon Hillary was doing?” But what the hell. Even Honest Abe admitted that you could fool some of the people all of the time…

I’m still excited about Emily St. John Mandel coming to the Jean Cocteau tomorrow. If you’re in the neighborhood, come join us.

The crowds at Meow Wolf of late have been astounding. Since we first opened in late March, more than 300,000 people have visited the House of Eternal Return. It’s become one of Santa Fe’s premiere attractions, and I am so pleased to have played my small part in creating it.

Oh, and last night Parris and I went to see DOCTOR STRANGE at the Violet Crown (in part to escape the crowds seeing TRUMPLAND at the JCC). ’twas fun. As many of you know, I’m a Marvel fanboy from way back, and Doctor Strange was probably my favorite single character… well, him or Spider-Man, both drawn by Steve Ditko, whose art I loved. (I say single character because I always loved the group books as well, the FF and Avengers and X-Men). How much did I love Doctor Strange? Well, let me just say, one of the characters I wrote for the comic book fanzines of the 60s was called Doctor Weird, so…

The movie is NOT the best Marvel superhero movie, as I was hoping it would be… it’s more middle of the pack, I’d say… but it looked great, did justice to the character, and had some scenes that were downright Ditko-esque. Of course, they had the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. Now, if they had managed to include a Steve Ditko cameo, that would really have been something. (Yes, I know, I know). I do hope that Ditko saw at least a little money out of this. He was a genius in his own way, and Doc would never have been half as interesting without Ditko’s unique and idiosyncratic vision.

Move Along, Nothing to See

November 6, 2016 at 5:15 pm
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In case you missed it, here’s the latest statement from FBI director James Comey on the bureau’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

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