Friday, November 1, 2019

A week ends and a month begins, so here we are. I ain’t going to lie, this week’s been a booger. So we’re going to take it easy today and just have a little fun.

In any event, there really isn’t that much new in the News. California keeps burning and Impeachment keeps rolling. It’s still early yet, though, so the Friday Evening News Dump we all know and love could still happen.

Well, that’s not quite true. Beto O’Rourke, who made headlines last year by almost ousting human SPAM mold Ted Cruz as one of Texas’ senators, announced today he was giving up his run for the nomination for Democratic candidate in 2020’s presidential election. Apart from flashes here and there in the news, he’s never really made much hay in the crowded field and one imagines he saw the writing on the wall. I don’t think he ever broke past 1%.

I never really was on the Beto Train but I do respect how much he worried the shit out of wingnuts in re: their shooty-bangs. After the horrible mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso by a Trump supporter back in August, righteous anger took a-hold of him and he flat-out threatened to take such unnecessary powerful killing devices like AR-15 from people ’cause they don’t need the damn things. It was quite amusing to watch weedy little nerds like Ben Shapiro try to puff up and threaten like he was Billy Badass.

On that note, that sparked the current wingnut claim that if we take their killer toys away or impeach Trump or simply don’t let him automatically win come this time next year or whatever the hell, they’ll rise up in a violent Second Civil War. The military will either be crushed or join up with them while the blood of liberals, leftists, Democrats, and Never Trumper conservatives will drown the streets. Or something like that, anyway.

Frankly, I don’t think they have the sack to pull off any sort of coordinated revolution against the people actually not in power, much less the ability to get that all together in some sort of useful form. But it makes them happy and their pee-pees feel big while keeping them off the streets and away from playgrounds. We’re getting off track here, Matt, come back home.

So, Beto’s out and says he’ll work to get whoever does win the nomination into the White House. That’s probably the best thing he can do, the best thing he could’ve done this whole time. I’m still underwhelmed by his political past but it is undeniably full of charisma and has a way with connecting with voters. Furthermore, everything Republicans have thrown at him that’s supposed to be “bad” – like playing in a punk band while wearing a dress – just makes anyone under 50 (either by age or mentality) like him that much more. Lest we forget, Texas swindler John Cornyn’s Senate seat is up for grabs next year, so that’s something he could busy himself with.

What else is there, then? Well, today finishes off this month’s Humble Bundle. Look, I have a mess of Steam keys from Humble Bundle and Fanatical that I’m (probably) not ever going to use for this reason or that. Anyone interested, give me a holler. In the meantime, those Shenmue re-releases are included and I’ll probably look into that for historical study, but I don’t know if I’ll mess with the rest. Who knows. I haven’t been all that enthusiastic about the video games lately. This and keeping with my reading is taking up most of my energy.

Speaking of reading, I finished a mostly enjoyable collection of short stories by Ron Shiflet that combined hard-boiled detective stories and other noirish tales with Lovecraftian horror. Called Looking For Darla: Stories of Mythos Noir, most of the stories are enjoyable and move at a nice pace, generally wrapping themselves up in neat little bundles. Shiflet’s got a couple nondescript detective characters working in Arkham – Lovecraft’s town of flat-out weird happenings – but Shiflet crafts a nice enough tale that it’d probably be worth reading. Particular favorites were a Weird West tale and another was a tale of feuding hillbilly mountain clans in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, both of which I wouldn’t mind seeing as more fleshed-out stories.

Maybe a bit more interesting is Kthulhu Reich by Japanese writer Ken Asamatsu. This takes Lovecraft and throws him into World War Two; more specifically, from the German perspective. There’s a tale or two that includes characters from Imperial Japan but for the most part we’re watching Nazis and Krauts getting ground into mincemeat by horrors from before the dawn of time, and that’s always fun. The stories tie in the Nazi Party’s actual interest in occultism, sequels to Lovecraft’s own tales, and even vampire lore in well-written, well-paced little tales of horror.

Interestingly – and I haven’t finished it, so this may change – all the stories work perfectly as short stories. You wouldn’t mind seeing more, but these stories are nicely self-contain and work fine by themselves. The only Japanese fiction I’m familiar with comes from Haruki Murakami, so I really can’t say if this is indicative of the genre, but I’m definitely down for more.

Okay, let’s call it a night. Here’s a neat piece on the late blues guitar wizard Michael Bloomfield in preparation for an upcoming biography. And here’s a very disturbing story on the half-ass way psychiatric problems in California problems are dealt with or, more accurately, not dealt with because some greedy shitass thought that “for-profit prisons” was a peachy keen idea.

Anyhow. Check ’em out, have a nice weekend, and stay warm. If I don’t see y’all before Monday, I’ll see y’all then.

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