Better Late than Never

Over the last few months, I caught up on some stuff, both recent, and by all accounts, ancient. After getting some coupons from Best Buy, I purchased some games that had already been out for a while, including Red Dead Redemption for PS3, Mario Galaxy 2 & Metroid: Other M for the Wii, Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the DS, and Resistence: Retribution & Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for my PSP. The Nintendo games I purchased under the pretense of Christmas gifts for the A.N.T., though you know damn well I will be playing them as well. I also recently picked up the Goldeneye 007 remake for the Wii and the new God of War for PSP. Fuck. That's a lot of dough on video games, not to mention a few movies here and there...I can explain, albeit embarrassingly.

I was depressed. I remember doing something similar about ten years ago. I was buying every new game I remotely wanted because I needed/wanted escape. Video games are that for me, my own virtual reality of the old west, a cartoon outer space adventure and one a little more Alien-esque, fantasy, alternate history, mythology, and sci-fi espionage...no Call of Duty for me, I hear enough about real-world war on the news, I want to play someplace I can never visit in real life. As in my last post, the bad boss figure was dampening my spirit. I'm doing okay financially, I am actually making more money than I was at Hilti, but cash wise I'm still a little behind. I bought these video games, mostly on the cheap which is how I justify it, on a credit card with 18 months no interest. Tax return will pay them all off.

But its not just been video games. With my iPhone I've downloaded an extensive library of free books from Apple's own bookstore and Amazon. I'm reading a swashbuckler medieval tale by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Outlaw of Torn, I finished The King in Yellow, a macabre series of short stories by Robert W Chambers, which influenced the likes of H.P. Lovecraft. The King in Yellow was released in the 1890's and Chambers writes of events that are obviously precursor to World War I. It's very eerie to read something so very old and understand this man was looking on his own future through his fiction. Burroughs and Chambers both write of the future with their then current knowledge, and there's a simplicity there that I wish I could achieve. I like details, in real life, in my writing, in others writing, television, movies, and video games.

I'm also currently reading The Prince by Machiavelli. A work of fiction or testament of his time and observations? The Odyssey and Iliad, the Art of War, the Life of Buddha, On the Origin of Species, and a shit-ton more Burroughs. Books I'll read on a smartphone while I'm stuck bored at work. The authors, I'm sure, would be amazed at the longevity and media their works have endured.

A.N.T. and I caught up on Haven from SyFy, a not-too-bad show that ended on a hell of a cliffhanger and worked so much better when they stuck to the underlying mythos they were building, much like Fringe which seems to be getting better with each season.

Buying Lego Harry Potter for the PS3 (I know, I know) I finally introduced A.N.T. to the magical world of Harry Potter. She enjoyed the first and second movies and before I knew it she had checked out the books from her school library and devoured the tomes like fresh crack right out of the lab. She just started reading Half-Blood Prince, tonight we'll be watching Order of the Phoenix, and either tomorrow or Saturday we'll watch the movie for Half-Blood Prince. She won't have the book done, but we're going to Deathly Hallows Part 1 Sunday morning so at least she'll be caught up on the movies. Harry Potter is a prime example of movies deviating from their printed source material, it's almost like the movies, at least after Goblet of Fire, became another storyline entirely save for the prime points of plot.

It's fun to see her get so excited about something she's catching at the very end of it's cycle. This is exactly how I came to love Star Wars. I saw the last movie first as a youngling and couldn't get enough of it from then on. I just wonder what thing she'll catch at the very beginning, before it's even popular, become a real fan of and care about how it's handled. I seem to always be playing catch-up, Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune, Lord of the Rings, hell, even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I thought I was totally on top of had been around in its grittier noir form before the cheesy 80's cartoon I grew up with. I watched GI Joe (the 80's cartoon based on toys from a previous generation), Transformers, He-Man, and Thundercats which have all had attempts at coming back (fuck you if you think Transformers is back, Michael Bay raped that property, those movies are nothing like their source material), but not a whole lot that I grew up with has had a lasting appeal. TMNT maybe. Even Harry Potter I passed on until the second movie was coming out, so I was playing catch-up again.

All of this missing out on something's inception, including Lost and now the Walking Dead (three episodes on my DVR we have yet to watch) makes me wonder...do I really have my finger on the pulse of pop-culture? Or is missing out for a while not so bad? Playing catch-up I can quickly get through the sometimes stumbling first steps right into the real meat of the middle bits and have the same passion as everyone else, if not moreso because so much of the beginning is fresh in my mind as I'm experiencing the latest entries... This makes me consider possibilities and habits I have in my own storytelling. I've always started a story midstream, filling in the backstory through characters' conversations or relevant world-building. I know I'm not the only story teller to do so. Star Wars begins in the middle of a civil war on the heels of a greater war that saw the collapse and rise of entire political structures. Dune begins with the changing of guard of planetary governorship, barely hinting at thousands of years of history, wars, and politicking. You can certainly see where my inspirations come from, and how I treat serialized entertainment is no different than anything I'm a fan of anyway...always playing catch-up.

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