Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Browse by Decade
Amazonian
Advertisements

Advertisements

Search
Advertisements

Amazon Fun

Navigation

Entries in lulu (2)

Thursday
Jun162011

Nuclear Winter: Poetry for the Apocalypse (1986)

This past September I was wandering the shelves of a Half Price Books in Austin, TX when I stumbled upon the most peculiar little book. Titled Nuclear Winter, this book from 1986 was aesthetically unimpressive, with its cover design rivaling the very worst masturbatory self-published volumes on Lulu. I instantly thought that the washed out black of the cover was likely a product of poor printing from a small indie publisher rather than the 25 years it had been sitting dormant.

Written by Stephen Daniel Mings, the book is a collection of 43 poems, each written from the perspective of a different person who has surivived a global nuclear war. Needless to say, it's a bit of a downer. This book of poetry is not recommended for getting your main squeeze in the mood, as Emily Dickinson's darkest lines would likely be more successful in that endeavor.

Nuclear Winter presents the viewpoints of individual nuclear holocaust victims, some adult, some children, in different locations and circumstances, who have survived the first shock of a major nuclear war. The poems are arranged in the order I wrote them between October and December 1985. They reveal a world in the grip of nuclear winter where snow and ice, changed weather patterns and grey clouded skies are made worse by the radioactive refuse of a planetary nuclear battleground.

My purpose is to alert the reader to the danger of a major nuclear war. I do not believe such a war is likely today, but it is more likely than it was ten or twenty years ago and if something is not done to prevent it, such a war will grow increasingly possible. Read the poems, see the consequences and avert the war. (February 1986)

 

Below is poem number eleven, titled Dear Santa.

 

Dear Santa, please hurry here.

Our daughter Marie is only four

but her logic is as clear

as midnight broken by the searing light

of the bomb blast.

She's afraid you aren't coming

because the shelter has no chimney,

only an air vent to filter out death.

She smiled a little when we told her

she'd join you in heaven.

But the morphine is almost gone and 

she won't be able to smile much longer.

 

--a woman

Puget Sound

North America

 

Sunday
Mar272011

Ebert's Art Film Revolution (1987)

OMNI magazine interviewed Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert about the future of movies for their June, 1987 issue. Ebert makes some bold and accurate predictions about how a revolution in the delivery and distribution of movies will open up the "art film" market, allowing people greater access to movies that may not make financial sense to screen in the theaters of smaller cities. An excerpt from the interview appears below.

OMNI: How will the fierce competition between television and the movies work out in the future?

EBERT: We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it. You'll not go to a video store but instead order a movie on demand and then pay for it. Videocassette tapes as we know them now will be obsolete both for showing prerecorded movies and for recording movies. People will record films on 8mm and will play them back using laser-disk/CD technology.

I also am very, very excited by the fact that before long, alternative films will penetrate the entire country. Today seventy-five percent of the gross from a typical art film in America comes from as few as six --six-- different theaters in six different cities. Ninety percent of the American motion-picture marketplace never shows art films. With this revolution in delivery and distribution, anyone, in any size town or hamlet, will see the movies he or she wants to see. It will be the same as it's always been with books. You can be a hermit and still read any author you choose.

Later in the interview Ebert says that "by the year 2000 or so, a motion picture will cost as much money as it now costs to publish a book or make a phonograph album." Ebert was right, but it wasn't just film production and distribution costs that came down. With the rise of book self-publishing with sites like Lulu, the democratization of online music distribution with CD Baby, and the fact that I just can't keep up with the staggering volume of "puppy tries to roll over but can't OMG how adorable" videos, the internet really has fundamentally shaken up the media landscape.