Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Good Memory Can Save The World

© 2020 Ray Palm

From Ray X X-Rayer #151.  

A while back Presidentoid Trump was boasting how he aced what he claimed was a difficult memory test. He was able to recall five words: Person, man, woman, camera, TV.

After an alien visitor is apparently killed in the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still(1951) a robot named Gort is activated to destroy the planet.  Only one woman has the key words to stop the robot: Gort  Klaatu Barada Nitko.  She faces the robot, repeating the four key words. Just in the nick of time she stops Gort's Cyclopean eye beam from disintegrating her. Gort stands down, the rampage is ended.

So what if Memory Master Trump had to recall the same keywords?

It would go like this:

"Uh... Mort. Kahlua Bacardi nicotine."

Ergo the world ends.

(9/25/20: Edited sentence for clarity.)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

ThanX Google For Fucking Up Blogger

I've spent half-an-hour trying to post the previous article.  In the past I would copy and paste an article with no problems.  I had switched to the new blogger format but everything kept screwing up.  Then I went back to the previous version but still had problems.  I had to convert the article to plain text, stripping away all the links I had throughout the post.  I only bothered to restore the link to my ezine where you will find all the links intact.

If this happens again I will only post a link to the latest issue of my ezine and forget this crapified place.

A quick search reveals that I'm not the only one having problems with the new and improved format.  If it's not broken FUCK IT UP!

Lasers! Exploding Smart Sensors! Anti-Salubrious Cell Towers!

Rick Loomis / Getty Images

By Ray X

Why enjoy science fiction only as entertainment when you can live it?

For example Bill Gates is the James Bond supervillian behind the Covid-19 pandemic. He created the deadly disease!

5g cellphone towers are spreading Covid-19. That's why concerned citizens have been setting them on fire in England.

Meanwhile in Australia bush fires were started by exploding smart sensors and lasers. What is behind this infernal plot? The fires are making away for a high speed rail link, all part of a UN project to depopulate the world. The high speed rail will help reduce the population of rural areas that are generally conservative, forcing people off the land to be vegans living in city apartments.

But this is nothing new. Back in 2018 wildfires were ravaging California thanks to DEWs – directed energy weapons. That's why some structures were left standing while others were destroyed. Those damn nefarious government traitors!

All of this is being promoted by QAnon, a group of followers of a mysterious internet entity called Q. Why the letter Q? It refers to the highest governmental clearance, meaning access to even Above Top Secret materials. Q seems to be a concerned governmental official in the belly of the beast, exposing deep state plots. And there's the predictions like Hillary Clinton was going to be arrested back in October 2017 and violence would ensue. Remember that?

In an article published in the Atlantic – The Prophecies of Q by Adrienne LaFrance – the writer mentioned two middle aged women who became a QAnon true believers. The writer asked them why do some Q predictions don't come true like Hillary being arrested. The women replied Q sometimes uses deception, that was part of his plan.

So if I predict an event and it doesn't come true, I wasn't wrong, I was deceiving you, testing you.

Why should you believe any of the QAnon conspiracies? Simple. President Donald Trump has been retweeting posts from QAnon believers. What more proof do you want?

And don't worry, none of this could lead to violence. Well, there was a glitch when a QAnon follower showed up at a pizza parlor with an AR-15 style rifle, searching out the secret HQ of Hillary Clinton's pedophile ring. No one was hurt but he did fire into a closet. No secret entrance, just a computer inside. Oops.

* * *

From Ray X X-Rayer #150: https://efanzines.com/RXXR/index.htm  More articles including one by John Purcell, creator of Askance and Askew ezines.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

A Plague For A Dark Age


(This is an article from the latest edition of my ezine Ray X X-Rayer #149. You can find it at https://efanzines.com/RXXR/RXXR-149.pdf . Back issues are listed at https://efanzines.com/RXXR/ . Or you can join my free and private subscription list by contacting me at raypalmx[at]gmail[dot]com, subject line: Subscription.)

Deathstar ]

The election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marked the onset of the present dark age.

All the ugliness -- greed, racism -- that had been boiling in the background erupted. Anti-science and insane conspiracy theories rule. For some emotion based on a black-and-white worldview pushed by an authoritarian leader is the answer.

And like the Middle Ages this modern dark age has become dominated by a plague, the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far I've dodged the bullet -- actually, the artillery shell. My age and underlying health problems make me a prime target for the coronavirus. Living alone for decades in one way has made it easier; in another way harder.

I can't remain confined to my apartment. I still need some outside contact. Maybe I should get a pet for company, a cat or a dog or a rhinoceros.

TV makes a lousy companion when leaving it on in the background. The same annoying ads every five minutes, every channel, 24/7. Does anyone else want to stomp the fuck out of the Geico gecko?

With a novel virus there are a lot of unknowns about it. Sometimes the story changes on how to protect yourself. I'm waiting for the announcement that you have to wash your hands for 22, not 20, seconds.

Of course my body picked a good time to have a hernia. Despite my doctor's PA pronouncing the bulge around my bellybutton was “just some fluid” I conducted a Google search and figured out that I did have a hernia. For example lying on my back caused the swelling to go down.

In this age of COVID-19 I had a telemedicine interview on my laptop with a surgeon. Apparently my hernia isn't that bad – I've heard some people live their whole life with one like mine – so when the world returns to semi-normal I can go under the knife to get it fixed, no rush.

The surgeon explained most likely my surgery would involve small holes, a lap-something, lapsodaisical, lapdancechoreography, whatever.

One image from this time that will remain with me is walking through a supermarket wearing a mask while a maskless woman smiled at me as if my caution was a joke, I was a jerk. Ironically the mask was more for her protection if I was asymptomatic. While some show altruism others evince selfishness.

All I can do is ride it out. After all I did live through the Cold War dark age, especially the Cuban missile crisis. Well, at least I did in this parallel universe.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

RX XR #148 Published

The latest issue is available at https://efanzines.com/RXXR/RXXR-148.pdf .

Previous issues can be found here: https://efanzines.com/RXXR/index.htm

Below is a sample article from XR #148.

Potty-Mouth Reviews Stars Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

A review evinces high standards by the use of coarse language.

Nothing gets the point across than saying a movie studio is sending a big F.U. to fans with a new release.

Someone with the dubious appellation of That Star Wars Girl ranted on YouTube how she thought the latest Star Wars movie was a fragment of fecal matter. (Or in words to that effect.)

I enjoy a good rant but there's more to one than a string of obscenities that an immature middle grade school student would use. You don't impress me with a plethora of potty pronouncements. Such words don't bother me, they bore me. Try reading Roger Ebert reviews if you want to intelligently make points about a movie.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

X-rayer.com Dropped

It was no longer worth the money.  The original Blogspot URL works just as well.  Activity at this blog was been crickets and tumbleweeds.  Every year the renewal price has been going up while hits have been dropping.  I haven't received any comments in a long time. 

My ezine Ray X X-Rayer does receive a LOC or two so I know a few people are out there with that outlet.  I've grown tired with the duplicative effort of publishing the same material on my blog and in my zine.  I'm considering using this blog only to announce the latest issue of RX XR with a link to efanzines.com .

If you want to read my stuff as a zine go to http://www.efanzines.com/RXXR/index.htm .

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Blockheads In Ice Blocks Movie Night

By coincidence the two movies I watched the other evening each featured the title character trapped in ice.

The Thing From Another World (1951.) A remote arctic research station detects the crash of an unusual object. Upon investigation they discover an alien being encased in ice. Somehow the men are able to carve out a coffin-sized ice block to bring the creature back to their base.

Uh-oh. Quibble time. How did they dig underneath the alien Popsicle to create the block, especially with a bad storm on the way limiting their time? How did they raise the block to fly it back home? Did someone crawl under, carving away without the ice falling and crushing him?

At the base the frozen ET is stored in a cold room. OK, the monster has to get free or watching an ice-encased alien just sitting there gets boring really quick. How a delayed reaction by a damaged heating device on the alien, melting him free?

No, they have to use the "I didn't know the electric blanket was still on when I threw it on the ice block" gag. And what adds to the nonsense is a soldier sitting around eight feet away from the melting block, his back turned towards it so it can't see what is happening. But he should hear the dripping water and ice hitting the floor. That had to be an damn interesting magazine he was reading (or in the case of Playboy was staring at.)

Now the alien supposedly has superior intelligence but acts like the Frankenstein Monster on a bad day, limited smarts and poor self-control. He does show some cunning but it's more like an animal, not a high IQ being.

Contrast this plot with another movie, Queen of Blood (1966), in which unsuspecting Earthmen rescue an alien who has crashed on Mars. She looks generally human but is unable to understand our language like the rampaging alien in The Thing. She just plays along until she needs an oral hemoglobin fix.

So the thing in The Thing could've acted rational, waiting for the chance to kill off the humans at an opportune time. But nooooo, he has to stomp around and rage like Donald Trump with a bee in his ass.

This movie features the stereotypical scientist who wants to communicate with the supposedly superior intelligence. Yup, you can reason with monsters in the middle of a destructive spree. This reminds me of my short story, Gandhi Meets Godzilla, in which Gandhi stages a sit in front of Godzilla, passive resistance and thoughts of peace all ground into a bloody group pulp.

Next up was Captain America (1990), a direct to video wonder. It's easy to pick on this cinematic train wreck but I have to say a few parts showed potential and the actors did a decent job with what they had. Once again a cheap budget and rewrites ruin an endeavor.

Like the Marvel comics Captain America returns decades later after being on ice, seeing his girlfriend now a married middle-aged woman. The man out of time angle was used in the later MCU movies but this movie handled it almost as well.

But what kills it is the stupid nonsense that you wouldn't accept in a comic book. For some reason the producers decided that Cap should be put out of commission on his very first mission during World War II so when he returns the public is unaware of his existence.

Cap parachutes into action, breaking into the stronghold of the Red Skull. In this version the Red Skull's appearance is over the top, too bloody awful. According to the director he decided to drop that look for the rest of the movie because the audience would get sick of looking at the Skull's horrible visage. This results in another change from the comic books that will add to the movie's faults.

The Red Skull defeats Cap and ties him to a rocket aimed at the White House. He sends Cap off on a one way trip. Meanwhile a young boy sneaks out at night in Washington, DC to take some shots of the Skull's target.

The young boy spots the rocket heading towards the WH and despite it being so dark, his lens being too short, and the rocket being too fast he gets a shot of Cap on the rocket. The rocket misses the White House thanks to Cap banging and twisting one of its fins with his foot.

Later the boy shows his friend an enlarged photo of Cap on the rocket as it flew over. OK, I'm familiar with photography, especially film photography, and I want to know what kind of super-fine grain film he was using that was so sensitive he could used a fast shutter to freeze the image in the dark. I mean did he shoot with Kodak Tri-XXXXXXX with an ASA of 400,000?

As in the comics the rocket crashes into the arctic. Cap falls into suspended animation until his body is freed decades later and he lives again.

He learns the Red Skull is still alive but with a new look. In fact his name should've been Reddish Scarface. No explanation is given to the absence of the gory head casing. Maybe it dried out, scabbed up, and then fell apart.

The Red Skull now operates like a Mafia godfather. I forgot to mention he's now Italian with the typical gun-toting thugs at this command. (Any tie in with the Red Brigades?)

The actor portraying the Red Skull, Scott Paulin, doesn't ham it up like Joseph Culp as Dr. Doom in the unreleased Fantastic Four (1994) movie. And I have to give credit to Matt Salinger as Captain America for some good acting even though the character is made to look stupid a couple of times in the film. For example after Cap takes out an opponent he smashes the third wall, giving the viewer a goofy smug smile.

This production obviously suffered from its cheap budget. In an interview Salinger said the production kept running out of money. His Cap uniform was made of rubber and while filming during the hot weather he almost passed out. After a scene was done he would removed the oversized red boots and pour out the accumulated sweat water.

Oddly enough the producers spent some money on the audio with Dolby Stereo Spectral Recording. I experienced the film with my tablet and ear buds but the sound was pretty good. There's nothing like hearing a car racing inside your head from left to right.

You can watch both The Thing From Another World and Captain America for free online. The first film is available at archive.org commercial free and the latter can be found on YouTube with annoying ads to be skipped.

And don't forget: Watch the skies.