May 1st, 2006


Recently Watched: Wizards

Some words of advice as an opening salvo: This is not, no matter what Bakshi or the rating or the blurb on the back of the case might say, a family movie, and it is certainly not a children's movie.

This is a not-so-subtle portrayal of the sins of man, the destruction of the natural world, and the destruction of pave-it-or-shoot-it mankind. This is a cautionary tale of what evils can exist in the heart of man.

Technically, this mixes and matches Ian Miller's dark, gloomy, realistic backgrounds with cartoonish swaths of color; as in Japanese animation some characters are more defined and realistic than others, and some are rotoscoped - although usually only in battle scenes.

While even more critics harp on it and complain about such inconsistencies, this is the very element of brilliance that makes this film far more worthy than the sci fi western that knocked it out of the theaters back when it was first released (that would be Star Wars, for those wondering.)

I first came across this film through bits and pieces of its soundtrack sampled for the band Toxic's anti-television work Think This - particularly the climatic "It is done! It is done! The world is free!" line by Weehawk at the end of the movie, and Blackwolf's earlier declaration of evil as he unveiled his Dream Machine: "The key to creating hysteria: fear, godssssss..." - which, in the film, is followed by a showing of Hitler propaganda, and, on the album, is contrasted with a snippet of Ronald Reagan spouting the kind of dreams that seemed to have inspired the reign of a certain shrub.

When the scenery does not reflect dark, evil Scorch, it is reminiscent of a Roger Dean album cover, or certainly something vaguely or quite obviously psychedelic. The dialog - for good or ill - is very quotable. A couple of Blackwolf's soldiery get some of the best lines - the same two gas-masked mutants seem to get involved here and there, despite dying once or twice ("They killed Fritz!")

With all of that, there are real Truths exposed here, along with quite a bit of faerie anatomy - one reason I feel no one under 13 should watch it. By that same token, I feel that no one over 18 should go without absorbing some of the lessons in here - as common as they are, they need to be understood and absorbed to keep us from pulling a Blackwolf, resurrecting the evils of the past, and repeating said events for our own (i.e. one leader's) personal benefit at the detriment of everyone else (i.e. us, human beans.)

The Dreaming : The First Portal

The Dreaming : The First Portal
by Everett A Warren

October 10, 1997

In the times before he mastered the path of the moonbeams, or its daylight distant relation of the rainbow – for each path required different means of approach, precautions of travel, and knowing one did not imply that the other would ever be accessible – the way to the dreaming was far more arduous. He did not remember fully how he learned to leave his body behind and walk about in another form for the remainder of the night, for he had his mind filled with years beyond his years of such travel, and he did not worry overmuch about this first mystery, for he knew, like all mysteries, in somewhen and somewhere he would find this knowledge only when he needed to know it. He did remember quite clearly how he found the way to spend those hours when one would think his body was sleeping walking in his chosen physical form in realms of the dreaming and beyond. Of that initial mystery, however, he did suspect a certain old tom who had roamed the cobblestone ways of the antediluvian city near the home of his early childhood, for it would certainly be fitting that a cat should be the one to teach him how to take the shape of a cat.

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Copyright (c) 1997 Everett A Warren

You can find this story in my collection, Cautionary Fables: Warts & All, available on or by order from your local bookseller.

Happy Anniversary!

Yep, our house has been officially ours for three years today. To celebrate, later in this month we're going to get the septic done, and we're going to be talking with an electrician and possibly some HVAC people about the ventilation situation and about future planning for wiring needs, including fans for ventilation, Justin's room, driveway lighting, basement wiring (there's only one pair of outlets - one used 24-7 by the septic alarm - and 4 lightbulb sockets down there; a future generator hookup; and whether or not the overall power meets our needs.
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