So the Drama!

Web 2.0 - No one owns it
Image by Paul Watson via Flickr

Oh, the drama!  *Throws his head back, drapes his brow with his wrist and collapses onto a chaise!*

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, drama is everywhere on the Internet.  When I was a young buck, I attributed Internet drama to childish, isolated minds whose sole social experiences were summed up in Cyberspace itself.  So many, seeking to be the center of attention, the focus of all adoration.  Any who opposed such individuals were “mean” or “heartless” and the subject of violent emotional rants filled with cyber-tears and judgments.  Battle lines were quickly drawn and sides chosen post haste.  The names!  The flames!  The games!  Ah, the Internet in all its glory!

I shunned chat rooms and IMs for the longest time because of things just like this, and made myself scarce in forums.  I only spent my time on the Internet in search of information and staying in touch with people I knew.  I chatted only in friendly confines and avoided flame wars like pox-ridden corpses.

Much has changed with Web 2.0, has it not?  Information on the web, while not necessarily reliable, is certainly better presented.  There are sites for every need and every taste, but the old, dungeon-like realms of wet, dark corners of dripping lichen and moss-crusted chilling chambers still abide, though less a percentage of the whole than before.  It’s more tame, in some ways, and yet remains wild and aggressive in corners where light does not reach.

But the drama, people – the drama remains!  Despite the new surge of technological media, the Twitters and the Facebooks and the MySpaces, and the text messages and the SMS and the RSS … nothing is safe from it!  Nothing is sacred, nothing hidden, nothing chaste and pure of it!  The woe is me of it all!  The stabbing hearts and bleeding orifices!  The tearful blastings and soulful reprisals!  The vehemence and vitriol!  OH, the humanity!

Or should I say, Oh the MUNDANITY?

Yes, Web 2.0 is different.  And the same.  Is it not?

-JDT-

All original content copyright DarcKnyt, 2009
All rights reserved

Miscellany

Illustration of a scribe writing
Image via Wikipedia

Well … based on my hit meter over the last two days, you people aren’t especially interested in my Photoshop work or my thoughts on sub-genres within the horror field of writing.  Hmph.  See if I care.

So, I’ll update you on what’s going on with me.

I’ve gotten a couple of pretty interesting phone calls over the last couple of days about job openings.  I’m not sure where they’ll end up, but hey, it’s something.

I haven’t been on Twitter (actually, Digsby — if you’re not using it, you’re missing out) today yet.  That’s unusual, yes.

I found out one of the (many) vanity publishers which approached me a couple of years ago has gone belly-up, and it’s bastard step-child offshoot is replicating its behavior at even higher prices.  So check out Writer Beware if you’re a writer; it will save you LOTS of headaches … and money.

I had the weirdest dream last night.  In it, I was angrily scouring the cafeteria of a place I’d worked before.  Problem is, physically, it wasn’t the right cafeteria.  In fact, it was the cafeteria of a place I dreamed about a couple of months ago.  The decor was the same — sort of a beige-y brown color for the floor, with weak incandescent lighting, almost like a restaurant from the early ’80s or late ’70s.  While I was trying to get breakfast at five minutes to nine, the cafeteria workers were all telling me they stopped serving breakfast.  I scowled at them as I passed by the numerous counters serving different kinds of food, gesturing at clearly visible signs stating breakfast was served until nine a.m., and found a place that served pastries and donuts which they dipped in chocolate frosting.  I stood in line, not really wanting donuts because I’m hyperinsulinemic, and found a couple of friends I worked with on the actual job I had in the company where this unreal cafeteria was.  (To clarify: I ran into two people I worked with at this company, whose cafeteria this was supposedly but actually isn’t.)  I guess they were getting lunch, which made me realize I’d been waiting for this donut ass to serve me for more than two hours … somehow.  But the faces of the two people in my dream were exact replicas of the actual people they belong to, which is odd for me in a dream.  And I can’t explain it.  They wore shirts over their work clothes bearing the insignia of the company they joined when their contracts ended around the same time mine did.  They said they still worked at that new company.  So why were they in the cafeteria of the old company?  How’d they get in?  And I teased one of them as he walked away from me about how he promised to call and never did — he was supposed to help me get work and I haven’t heard from him since I last saw him on November 30, 2007.  He asked if I still had his number, and I remember thinking (in the dream) that, maybe, he meant it this time, since he wasn’t drinking when he reiterated his openness of receiving my call.  I woke up sometime after that, but I did get to watch the guy swipe my donut top-down into that rich chocolate frosting and give it to me on a piece of wax paper.  Weird.

My daughter got up seconds after I did this morning.  She scared the heck out of me coming into the living room while I was still disoriented and sleepy and trying to get my bearings, because they weren’t the cafeteria of the dream world.

And that’s that.  I don’t know if this will be more interesting, but there you have it — a mini-brain dump.  (That is, the dump is mini, but some of you will argue the brain is, too.  And I don’t think I can argue against you.)

God bless, all.

-JDT-

Other Horror Flavors

deliverance
Image by moonshake via Flickr

I had a brief comments exchange with a talented young writer over on my deviantART page recently.  She was amused by my use of the term “redneck horror” to describe a genre in which the horror takes place in an extreme rural setting, be that bayous, backwoods, open barren plains or deserts, great rolling prairies or the deep south.

She said she always thought of it as “Southern horror” – but that’s really too narrow, too limiting for what the genre entails.  The horror takes place in some setting which allows for rednecks, whether that’s in rural Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, New York, Oregon, Washington, Idaho(rror), etc.  Doesn’t matter where.  Backwoods England will work as well as chigger-country USA.  There are rednecks everywhere, and they can and do occupy every recess of land where urban or suburban sprawl hasn’t pushed them out, and they can be horrible.

I don’t mean literally, of course, I mean literarily.  But the fact remains that any sufficiently woodsy or backwoodsy area can be the setting for great redneck horror, a genre some of us horror writers forget about.  Which is interesting, when I stop to consider how often it’s slammed in our faces.  Classics like The Hills Have Eyes or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre come to mind, but even good ol’ Jason Voorhees ran amok in a rural area before storming the rest of the known universe.  And, who can forget the granddaddy redneck horror of them all, Deliverance? Huh?  I mean, c’mon — Deliverance.  ‘Nuff said.

For many of us, the city is horrifying enough, with its dark alleys, smoked glass and steel, dark recesses in walls and alcoved, shadowy doorways, and empty, rotting constructs.  It’s full of seedy neighborhoods full of seedy people, so if we throw more atop that dung heap, no one bats an eye.

The same is true of going to the other extreme, too, but those of us less familiar with the sidewalk-less, open ditched, tree canopied life of slower pace, tobacco wads and rocking chairs on creaking porches don’t reach for that flavor of spice often enough to season our work.  Why should we think to?  I mean, we’re always taught to write what you know, right?  But think about that: who’d write only what they know?  Who knows anything about being a vampire, or werewolf, or zombie?  That doesn’t seem to stop us from writing about it either; same with being a fairy (faery), or ogre, or orc or whatever the hell else you’ve got running in your imagination.  If we only write what we know, we stunt ourselves.

Some fantastic stuff has been written in the redneck horror genre, though, for those who dare plumb the depths.  It’s been around forever.  As for me, I think a redneck horror piece – even if it’s only a short – is way overdue, and something I look forward to doing.  It’s a refreshing change from the ordinary settings of my normal work, and gives me a chance to stretch memory and descriptive muscles I haven’t exercised in a long time.  It’s a challenge, it’s a new wrinkle in my style, and it’s fun.

And after that, I think a short story – because I can’t see doing anything novel-length that way – a western horror story.  Why not?

How ‘bout you?  What new wrinkles and niches and facets and rips and tears are there in your chosen area of writing?  What new, exciting things are you eager to try to stretch, grow, expand?  And if you’re not a writer, what would you enjoy reading as a change of pace from the plethora of vampires in silk clothes and opulent marbled mansions or wizards in dank dungeons and damp towers?

Shout out, y’all.

-JDT-

Maybe We DO Need Stinkin’ Badges

One of my closest minions suggested that the Order of the Fist needs rank badges.  I didn’t think so, but then … I wondered, why not?

So, having more free time on my hands than I’d like, I pulled up Photoshop, which I do a lot lately, and started playing.

Here, then, O Faithful Stomper of Adverbs, is your rank badge!  Wear it with PRIDE, soldier!

3stargeneralbadge

All original content copyright DarcKnyt, 2009
All rights reserved