PC Koshinbun: Castalia House and the PulpRev scene are bustling!

Jeffro’s been doing Sensor Sweeps for a while now, and I highly recommend checking them out from time to time for some good highlights of what’s been going on with the pulp/classic SFF crowd and some tabletop gaming commentary.

Back at my old blog, I used to do periodic roundups or features of interesting Japan-related content in that corner of the web. One of the things I really like about this neck of the woods is how much support there is for budding bloggers and other aspirants who want to get their thoughts out there and contribute to the scene. When I was starting out, I remember how exciting it was to get a plug from Jeffro or Cirsova (not that it’s not still exciting). Or getting a retweet from Daddy Warpig (11k followers and he noticed me…!).

Now that we’ve built a small but awesome audience, I hope to contribute in bringing light and eyes to some of the more excellent content I’ve been discovering. Unfortunately I can’t cover everything and everyone, but I’ll try to make sure these aren’t too infrequent. Also I beg your indulgence if I shamelessly highlight some of our own content, too.

Before I get to the meat – what’s a koshinbun? Well, shinbun (新聞) is the Japanese word for “newspaper.” During the early to mid Meiji period (mid-late 1800’s), there were two major types of papers in J-Land: the oshinbun (大新聞), which were the big, usually political publications, and the koshinbun (小新聞), which were more focused on “pop” topics, like local news or fiction.

Anyway, here we go:

Castalia House blog is booming!

Jeffro brought several new writers onboard this year to bolster an already strong stable of columnists. Daddy Warpig (Jasyn Jones) and Morgan have been stirring the pot with Jeffro in some sharp criticisms of Campbellian SFF. Worth reading, even if you disagree. For my part, here are the three pieces I’ve contributed so far:

Mount and Blade and the spirit of roleplaying
Man’s Best (SFF) Friend
Solomon Kane: The Original Dark Knight

 

Geek Gab is GREAT

Before straying too far from Daddy Warpig, I have to mention this podcast. I’d seen links to it before, but I don’t listen to much talk stuff on the computer. The other day it occurred to me that I could look for it on iTunes, as I do a lot of listening during my daily commutes. Hey – there it was! I’ve listened to two episodes so far and really enjoyed them both. It’s basically a bunch of intelligent, enthusiastic, nerdy guys sitting around talking about nerdy stuff. It’s a lot of fun! Daddy Warpig, along with Brian Niemeier and John McGlynn and their guests, are definitely worth a listen if you’re into SFF (and not just literary).

 

Here be dragons

I’ve been following Oghma on Twitter for a while now, and his blog has gotten off to a roaring start. His stuff has been very thoughtful and thought-provoking. He’s shared some very candid life tales as well as some lighter nerd fare. To start, I’d draw your attention to:

In RPG’s do we even need races? – what do Hobbits bring to the table?
Props in Narrative Gaming – some great music and how-to’s on making a super cool scroll and other props that may liven up your pen and paper sessions.

scroll

 

Edgar Rice Burroughs on fiction

Over at the Pulp Archivist, Nathan reminds us of some wise words from Edgar Rice Burroughs – that “entertainment is fiction’s purpose.” We would all do well to remember this!

 

The Mixed GM schools his players 

I’ve written before about how there’s merit to newer editions of D&D, which afford players more room to be awesome (or overpowered, as the case may be) and is less punishing when it comes to player character death. Many old hands resent this approach to dungeon crawling, but it is what it is. Just because I’ve advocated for the more recent style of play doesn’t mean I’m in favor of coddling players when they play stupidly. The Mixed GM illustrates a good example here of where and how to draw the line.

 

HiLo Brow’s top adventure stories of 1907

Very specific! This one caught my eye because I’m an Oz fan, and Joshua’s number 2 pick is Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz. Baum was actually mentioned on Geek Gab recently as one of the more underrated fantasy authors of his time. Other names you may recognize on the list – H Rider Haggard and William Hope Hodgson.

ozmaoz

 

Legends never die

In what’s shaping up to be a series of posts, Kestutis Kalvaitis has been writing about Timothy Zahn and his Thrawn trilogy – arguably some of the best work of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. He also mentions some of Zahn’s other scifi work in passing. I never did explore anything he did outside of Star Wars, but sounds worth a look.

 

Defending the screwdriver guys

Keith West expounds on how many of us enjoy both the pulps and Campbellian SFF, and lands on the fact that there’s room for both subgenres. I’ve argued this point myself, recently, and I think Keith’s voice strengthens my own view of the matter.

 

Howard out-Lovecrafted Lovecraft!

Alexandru Constantin puts forward a somewhat provocative idea –

“I think Howard writes Lovecraftian fiction better than Lovecraft. I like the idea of Lovecraftian more than I actually like Lovecraft’s writing. I find all his crap boring as all shit, filled with idiotic purple prose.”

He goes on to talk about how Howard manages to get that sense of weird and horror, but employs exciting, competent protagonists who take it to the unspeakable evil. Alexandru also brings up Howard’s pioneering of the “weird western” subgenre!

worms

Some homegrown SFF for ya

Our own Kaiju and Gitabushi have been working on some sweet stories, both as of yet untitled. Feel free to check’em out:

Kaiju’s sword and sorcery-type: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Gitabushi’s zombie outbreak: – Part 1, Part 2

 

-Bushi

bushi

 

PC Koshinbun: Castalia House and the PulpRev scene are bustling!

Overwrought Think-Piece O’ the Day

  • by Gitabushi

Progressive ideology. Political power shifts. Societal pendulums. Global Warming. Defeating Evil.

What do these things have in common, besides the letter “l”?

All these different issues cannot be discussed rationally without accurately identifying and applying feedback loops.

For instance, in the case of Global Warming Climate Change, the theory is that the increase in carbon dioxide from human activity is driving the Earth’s temperature spiraling upward. However, the only way this can be true is if factors influencing or controlling the earth’s temperature are, in total, a positive feedback loop. Meaning, the various elements snowball, so the more carbon gets into the atmosphere, the easier it is for carbon to get into the atmosphere in the future.

However, to make this argument, one has to be aware of several negative feedback loops, such as the logarithmic nature of carbon’s impact (the more carbon is in the atmosphere, the smaller effect any given unit of carbon has) and the likelihood that increased carbon in the atmosphere encourages plant growth that has a cooling effect.  Meaning, there are certainly elements that tend to resist change, that absorb changes into a cycle that brings temperature back to equilibrium.  The fact that the world has had both extreme temperatures during different ages, yet keeps within a relatively small, stable range, indicates that negative feedback loops are more powerful than the positive feedback loops in our global climate system.

Regarding defeating evil, the one thing I remember from the 1st Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever is that evil can never be fully defeated. Individual incarnations of evil can be defeated, but since some measure of evil exists in every single human being, evil will always return.

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Setting aside the notion of evil, that’s why it is so difficult for there to be a permanent one-party rule in the United States.  One significant negative feedback loop is the election interests of individual politicians.  If one party succeeded in complete domination of the political scene, the powerless party would dissolve and the in-power party would split in order for individual politicians to seek power by championing the interests of a minority.  Party overreach usually means that it never even gets to that point.  The Democrats were hailing their permanent majority just 8 years ago.  Now they almost lack the power to stop Constitutional Amendments.

Progressive Ideology assumes a social Positive Feedback Loop, in which human society inevitably progresses toward their assumed and preferred utopia of human enlightenment.

As a fan of science fiction, I have imagined what an Individual Rights Society might look like (call it Conservative, or Libertarian, if you with…neither seem to be fully appropriate terms), but even in my imagination, it is impossible to sustain.  Human nature is too obvious: there will always be people who see their advantage in claiming group rights over individual rights, and there will always be people eager to dictate groups rights to the exclusion of individual rights.

But is the reverse true?

Consider this tweet:

I think she’s 100% correct. However, the problem is that even after the precedent is set, it isn’t a precedent the GOP can use in retaliation against the Democrats.  This is because there simply is no GOP-leaning senior bureaucrat population.  The federal bureaucracy mostly embraces the Progressive mindset.  Where it doesn’t, it correctly sees the Democrat Party as more supportive of the unelected bureaucracy’s power.

As a result, where there should be a negative feedback loop that acts as a check on Progressive overreach, I fear that Democrats (and/or Progressives, and/or Leftists…there’s a huge overlap, but not complete) have metastasized in government to the point that they can enforce a positive feedback loop for their preferred policies.

Maybe not.  The Deep State’s attack on the US Constitution is out in the open now, and the GOP does have an unprecedented advantageous position to begin dismantling it, just like Walker is doing in Wisconsin.

However, let me clarify what I mean by the Left enforcing a positive feedback loop.

Normally, overreach results in the pendulum swinging back, as individuals exercise their political and social rights to disagree and oppose.  But the nature of Leftist ideology is to embrace and empower group rights, not individual rights.  They control education, so they can teach you the history and values they want you to have.  They control entertainment, so they can craft narratives in which the Progressive ideology always turns out to be correct. They control the news, so they can make it seem like the GOP following Democrat precedents is an outrageous, unprecedented scandal.  They control the federal bureaucracy, so they can pick and choose which of the millions of pages of regulations to enforce to punish individuals for opposing their agenda.  They can make the process be the punishment so that you can’t even fight back against things like EPA overreach without bankrupting yourself.  They control the judiciary (mostly), so they can re-legislate and nullify laws they don’t like (up to and including declaring a Constitutional Amendment to be Unconstitutional).  They can allow non-citizens to flood the nation to outnumber citizens and get representation and federal funding based on illegal aliens.  They can channel taxpayer money to Progressive organizations like Planned Parenthood, and get money back from Planned Parenthood to fund Democrat politicians.  And they can use all these various institutions to move the Overton Window to make it impossible to even talk about alternatives to their vision.

If Hillary Clinton had been elected, there would have been significant erosion of 1A and 2A rights.  So we dodged a bullet there.

But even with Donald Trump duly winning the election, even with the GOP controlling Congress, controlling approximately 2/3 of the governorships, controlling a majority of state legislatures, and conservatives about to control the Supreme Court, we find ourselves on the defense from the Deep State attempting to sabotage the Trump Administration.

The battle is in the open now, but despite it being open, I’m not at all certain the GOP can win.  Too many people would rather be right about Trump than protect the normal order of Constitutional governance.

If we lose this, we won’t lose our rights immediately.  But it will be a slow erosion.  Some negative feedback elements do still exist to slow, and sometimes even turn back, the growth of the Leviathan State.  But if the Deep State wins, expect to see more and more of the negative feedback loop mechanisms dismantled.

My bottom line: sure, a Trump administration is going to be a shit-show. It will be clumsy. It will make mistakes. But the more conservatives pile on, the easier it will be for the Deep State to win in their battle against the POTUS, and we’ll all be the worse off for it.

The Deep State has declared war on the rightfully-elected President of the United States.  By choosing to go to war against the President of the United States, the Deep State has declared war on the US Constitution.  You have to choose a side. There’s gotta be away you can defend the Office of the Presidency without defending Trump the man himself. Find it.

 

Overwrought Think-Piece O’ the Day

Appendix N – a closer look at D&D (and beyond)

Last year I wrote about my discovery of the secret world of Appendix N. Since then I’ve collected a chunk of the list’s contents and read…well, a sliver. Though to be fair, I’ve been focusing on an expanded index of classic Scifi/Fantasy.

Given the nicheness of some of the online circles in which I travel these days, I sometimes forget that many readers may not be familiar with Appendix N. Simply put, it’s a list found in the back of the original Dungeons and Dragons DM Guide that lays out the main books and authors that inspired D&D.

Indeed, many of these works were not only formative for D&D, but have proven foundational to fantasy and scifi stories and games up to a century after their conception. It’s been batted around before by JC Wright and Jeffro, and I’ve repeated this many times, as well – there is a generation gap these days. Most younger SFF fans simply have never heard of these works and writers. Even if some have, there’s often little motivation to explore, what with the glut of new authors and stories coming out all the time and how difficult it can be to find physical copies of some of these older greats.

So why am I writing this yet again? Well, Jeffro just released his book  Appendix N: A Literary History of Dungeons and Dragons. Full disclosure – I’m friendly with Jeffro online and have been following his blogs for a while now. Even if I hadn’t ever interacted with the guy, though – I was highly impressed with his blog-based Appendix N analyses, and so I’ll definitely be picking this up once it comes to physical print (hopefully next month).

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You may not be into Dungeons and Dragons; even if you’re not into gaming, or if you like gaming but don’t read a ton — Jeffro’s survey provides a great deal of “oh cool” insights into the literary inspirations for the modern SFF genre. The first of such for me was probably from his piece on Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three LionsOne classic SFF book that inspired the popular Law vs Chaos alignment system, several prominent characteristics of the modern paladin class in gaming, and popular characteristics of the troll (like its super regeneration).

Highly recommended!

-Bushi

bushi

Appendix N – a closer look at D&D (and beyond)

Some thoughts for the King: King David’s Spaceship

Last summer over at the Castalia House blog, Jeffro posted about A Spaceship for the King as a largely unrecognized inspiration for the Traveller pen and paper game. My interest was piqued by his exposition, and I later recognized author Jerry Pournelle as the same gent who co-wrote the Mote in God’s Eye – another great scifi novel I read some years back. As a matter of fact, the two books happen to belong to a larger series penned by Pournelle in occasional collaboration with fellow scientifictioneer Larry Niven.

Late last year I picked up a copy of King David’s Spaceship – an expanded version of A Spaceship for the King (which was originally a three part serial). You know, this one turned out to be a great example of why you sometimes have to force yourself through an opening chapter or two. I was initially a little turned off by what I was reading – a typical fantasy tavern scene, complete with giggling and squealing serving wenches being pinched as they served “countless” drinks to soldiers and other handsy patrons. To be fair to Pournelle, when he wrote this thing originally, it probably wasn’t such an overused trope.

Once past that somewhat clumsy opening, though, I had very little to complain about. To the contrary, I found King David’s Spaceship a most enjoyable read, with a lot to unpack. A few further thoughts, then, from my notes (*Spoilers to follow*):

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1. Pournelle did a skillful job of crafting conflict without any real villains, perhaps aside from the Moorish barbarian horde, who were arguably relatively unimportant characters to the story. The Imperials and more specifically the Navy are painted as the chief antagonists throughout most of the book. But when we get a glimpse of matters from their perspective, what do we see? Bean counters and bureaucrats; a professor; a young sailor; a petty, stick-up-his-ass middling officer. These are flawed, but not evil men. Many of them are well-intentioned.

Physically, to MacKinnie and his band, Dougal and his fellow Samualans ultimately pose as much of a threat if not more.

2. This is a story of a determined group of primitives (“colonials” they are derisively called by one Imperial) triumphing, in a way, against an overwhelmingly technologically superior foe. In spirit, I found it somewhat reminiscent of Anderson’s the High Crusade.

“Superiority” is a slippery thing. Where the Empire is strong, rich, and advanced, it is also slow. The Imperials are constrained by their highly ordered bureaucracy, laws, and political intricacies. And because their Navy is staffed by men who are the product of such a society, they are prone to complacency and routine. They are vigilant of enforcing their rules, but often lack the vision to anticipate such as the “colonials” are able to pull off.

3. As Jeffro noted in his piece, the Catholic Church (referred to as “New Rome”) is featured prominently and without the malicious undertones or even explicit hostility that increasingly pervades much of modern SFF. Clerics in this story are practical yet seemingly sincere in their faith and benevolence.

4. I found the characters to be serviceable, but nothing to write home about. Our main man is a competent soldier and commander. We’re told that he attracts followings and engenders supreme loyalty in his men, though we’re not really shown very much of this charisma. His best buddy and manservant is a competent lieutenant and superb fighter. The protagonist’s eventual girlfriend is a competent…logistician? She’s certainly written to be a “strong” woman — brave, willful, not stunningly beautiful but attractive. The scientist and the scholar in the group are also competent, with a little bit of flavor text to tell us that one is portly and one is somewhat of a priss. The native captain and mercenaries that the protagonists recruit on Makassar are also competent. Haven’s spymaster is competent, as is the King and his minister and the head of the University.

That’s what we get – competent characters, some of whom are well fleshed out and some who are less so. And that’s fine. But come the end of the story, I didn’t really feel attached to any of them. They played their roles in the plot, and I suppose that was enough.

5. When it comes to the “realisticness” of what constitutes hard science fiction or military science fiction, I’m no authority. But still, this felt like a good example of both. A lot of science was discussed and implemented by the characters. Some of the most interesting parts of the story, for me, were the military tactics employed by MacKinnie to liberate the Temple from the barbarians.

6. There were a few scenes that felt a little sloppily executed. In particular, this scene kind of bothered me:

Now I readily admit, this is a such a minor story point…it winds up not even really being important to any of the proceeding events. Still – this assassin has time to rush through a crowd, lop off a pikeman’s arm, presumably slay several others, take a javelin to the chest and pull it out while still attacking…let’s for a moment set aside the improbability of one man with a knife being able to get so far through a crowd of armed soldiers. Hal , the competent lieutenant and superb fighter, has no time to draw his sword during all that? Come on. Even if the assassin was able to accomplish all that in a few seconds – how long does it take to draw a blade, especially for a seasoned soldier?

Still, it can be overlooked in light of the rest of the book. Since getting into Vance and Anderson and the like, I’ve become a fan of this implementation of science fiction – high tech mixed with low tech; swords and spaceships. It’s a lot of fun.

If I were rating King David’s Spaceship, I’d probably give it 4/5. Good stuff.

-Bushi

bushi

Some thoughts for the King: King David’s Spaceship

The state of the blog: 2016 and beyond

A few days late, but here’s my obligatory summation of the past year at PC Bushi.

The numbers:

We picked up a lot of momentum this year, as we gained a bit of direction and became more engaged on social media and within the nerdy blogosphere.

For 2016, we reached 7,540 views, 3,845 visitors, and 139 posts. Not huge numbers, but an enormous amount of growth.

Interestingly, our top 3 posts were one about artist Pogo, Kaiju’s opus “The Quest of Mecha-Harambe”, and a random crap I took on Eternal Sonata.

Posts on Undine, the Dragon and the George, and badass womenly women in SFF were a little bit further down the list, but still drew a respectable amount of eyeballs.

Direction and developments:

For my part, 2016 brought a major epiphany. I’ve mentioned before how the discovery and exploration of the Cirsova and Jeffro blogs turned me on to Appendix N, and beyond that catalyzed a general awakening to the body of quality scifi/fantasy that have become obscured over time. Since then I’ve generated a Grand List of such works. My foot was already in the door thanks to my familiarity with Tolkien and Herbert and Asimov and the like, but by the saints, I had no idea how much greatness I was missing. I also owe Kaiju for getting me into Conan.

I’ve gotten through some of the foundational stuff this year, which I’ll briefly talk about a little further on. There’s a lot more to get to, which I suspect will provide much blogging material.

Kaiju has been working on a writing project of his, which I’m told is progressing. Otherwise he pops in sporadically to muse about the end times and such.

The other big item is that we picked up another contributor recently – Gitabushi, who’s been tearing it up with guitar porn and posts about things like politics, philosophy, and his military experience.

Scientificion/Fantasy:

This year I’ve gotten to the following:

Poul Anderson – The High Crusade was an amazing execution of knights versus aliens, and managed to toe the line between humorous and silly without slipping into the latter field. I also read Three Hearts and Three Lions, which probably has had a greater impact on gaming. Three Hearts contains the seeds of many iconic fantasy RPG elements of today – the paladin and his steed, dwarves with Scottish accents, trolls weak to fire. This year I’ll get to his other seminal work, the Broken Sword.

Leigh Brackett – just one of her short stories; not enough to form an opinion yet. In 2017 I’ll be digging deeper.

Edgar Rice Burroughs – the first three Mars stories. Man, these rocked, especially the first two. I’d like to work on Tarzan and one or two of his other properties this year.

Gordon R Dickson – A reread of the Dragon and the George, and it was still an awesome book. Mission to Universe was mediocre, but had some cool ideas.

Robert E Howard – I continued to read through the Conan stories and also got some Kull and Solomon Kane in. I just can’t say enough how great Howard’s characters are and how masterfully he shaped them.

Fritz Leiber – I keep hearing how fun and iconic Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are; I should have started with them, and this year I’ll be checking out their tales. Gather, Darkness! turned out to be a disappointment.

Madeleine L’Engle – I reread the first two Wrinkle in Time books for the first time since I was a kid. Some creepy, awe-inspiring notes and an underutilized flavor of the scifi-fantasy blend. This series reminds me of Lewis’ Space Trilogy.

Michael Moorcock – Elric of Melnibone – I’m not quite sure what to say here. I’m glad to have become acquainted with the character and with Moorcock’s Eternal Champion universe. Elric himself is kind of insufferable. But he provides a valuable insight into the genesis of characters like Salvatore’s Drizzt, and perhaps influences upon the likes of Geralt of Rivia. In 2017 I’d like to check out the Hawkmoon books.

Offutt – My Lord Barbarian turned out to be a rather lackluster affair, with a great setup, interesting world, and serviceable characters. The story itself felt rushed and underdeveloped.

Pournelle – I’m just finishing up King David’s Spaceship as of this posting, so my opinion on it may not be 100% fully formed yet. That said, I was a little hard on the book early on, as it hit upon some irksome, all-too-common fantasy tropes. It’s really sucked me in, though, and unless it ends in a terrifically unsatisfying manner, I’ll be giving it high marks. What I’d expect from the co-author of the Mote in God’s Eye.

Fred Saberhagen – If Berserker is the least of the series, I’m really looking forward to delving into his works. I’d heard this first installment was nothing to write home over, and it’s always pleasant to have  your expectations are surpassed. The tales of humanity pitted  against the titular world-killing sentient machines were highly enjoyable.

Jack Vance – One of my favorite discoveries, most definitely. The Grey Prince started off a bit dryly, but was such a great tale of the failure of an extreme focus on “social justice” and the dangers of growing soft and naive. Star King left me drooling for more Vance. This year I’m hoping to get to a lot more of his stuff, starting with the Dying Earth stories. Also Vance was a supreme troll, which is awesome.

Roger Zelazny – Despite devouring the first five Amber books, I’m still not quite sure what to make of Zelazny. The Amber stories as a whole were among my favorites of the year, though as individual books I’m not sure they hold up quite as well. At his best, Zelazny weaves together intrigue, magic, and action, along with engrossing character interactions, in a way that leaves you wanting more. At worst, his writing gets trippy and disjointed. Maybe this year I’ll check out Lord of Light and see how it compares to Amber.

Various authors – I also read some viking sagas, some Dunsany, and other assorted short stories from classic scifi/fantasy authors. Lots of neat stuff. One of my favorite short stories was The Man Who Lived Backwards, by Charles F. Hall. Some really great ideas and imagery there. I also read Frankenstein, but there’s some debate as to whether that counts as scifi!

I’ve got a lot lined up for this year. Aside from what I noted above, I want to get to more Dunsany, some Clark Ashton Smith, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Piper, de Camp, Doc Smith, Eddison, Pratt, Norton, and a few others.

Personal:

I’m working in an industry that I (mostly) like, and last year I locked down my woman. I suspect there’ll be kids in the picture sometime this year or next. Often things fail to work out how or when we want them, but we’re not privy to the Plan. God is good. May He bless us with a happy and successful 2017.

 

-Bushi

bushi

The state of the blog: 2016 and beyond

Walking Dead, Season 7: Far-Right Tutorial

  • by Gitabushi

There are plenty of spoilers in the following piece.  If you aren’t caught up on the story, well, at some point you have to take responsibility for being weeks behind.  There has been plenty of time for everyone to catch up on the storyline, so I’m not even going to try to avoid spoilers.  I’ll put it below the jump, however.  And the spoilers will be minor, I think.

Continue reading “Walking Dead, Season 7: Far-Right Tutorial”

Walking Dead, Season 7: Far-Right Tutorial

A Merry Twilight Zone Episode

Ah, the holiday season. Back in the days before one could watch a Christmas Story for 24 hours straight on TBS, there was a veritable cornucopia of Christmas fare available for holiday consumption.

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Of course there are the older classics like Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and March of the Wooden Soldiers. You’ve got your slew of Rankin and Bass animations, a Charlie Brown Christmas, Muppet and Disney stories, and a million Frosty and Rudolph permutations. There are the Home Alone films, those ones with Arnold and Tim Allen, and all the Scrooge movies (the Bill Murray version being perhaps the best of the bunch). The Nightmare Before Christmas, Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, Bad Santa, Ellllfffffff…..

Oh, and let’s not forget that one movie that some people think is a Christmas movie because the story incidentally takes place around Christmas time.

lw1

Wait, that’s not…

returns

Hold on…

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Let me just…

die_hard_christmas

There we go.

As I was saying, also beloved is the tradition of the TV show Christmas special. Do they still call them that, or are they now “holiday specials?” Regardless, I recently checked out a very special episode of the Twilight Zone (available to watch if you subscribe to Netflix) – “Night of the Meek.”

The 11th episode of the second season of the oft creepy TV classic has a bit of a heavy start to it and ends up being rather heart-warming.

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The episode is short enough that I’d rather not spoil its plot, but suffice it to say that there’s something refreshing about the obviously flawed but goodhearted and honest protagonist. He drinks to drown out not his own plight, the but sorrows of the world around him. What, then, will happen when he’s given the chance to bring some Christmas cheer to the unfortunates around him?

If I had to offer a criticism, it’s that like so many other Christmas shows and films, there’s no Christ here. Sure, Santa Clause holds a prominent place in Christian custom, but he’s not the reason for the season. Still, I’d say a positive Christian message about selflessness and charity is a good second-place prize.

I highly recommend checking out “Night of the Meek” if you’ve got 25 minutes; you won’t regret it. Or you could go watch a Christmas Story again.

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-Bushi

bushi

A Merry Twilight Zone Episode