Monday, December 29, 2014
As the army was retreating, some were fighting a rear guard action, against a Russian force that was hungry for vengeance, and to evict the invaders. Napoleon was concerned about the battles, but now, his forces in early winter, cold and freezing weather, approached a river that was open, but moving, freezing cold, and dangerous.
The crush of oncoming forces behind his 60,000 men forced Napoleon into making desperate commands. He sent various forces in different directions to distract his enemy. Meanwhile General Eblé sent his force of Dutch engineers into the waters of the Berezina river, where they set up a 100 meter bridge, in waters that were going to kill them from the cold.
Swiss units in the Grand Armee of the French were sent to hold out against the constant attacks and kept the Russians from breaking through. From their original number of 8000 they numbered a mere 300 by the end of the action at the Berezina river.
The bridges were holding, and the army poured across, but it was not a victory, nor defeat in military terms, much like Dunkirk in the Second World War, Berezina was realization of a disaster that could have been, and relief for the disaster that did not occur.
A poem was written for the Swiss units who fought so hard and were left with so few, by Ludwig Giseke
Our life is like a journey
Of a wanderer through the night;
Everybody carries something on his way
That causes him to grieve.
But then unexpectedly do fade
Night and darkness before us,
And the sorely troubled find
Solace to their sorrow.
Fearless, fearless, dear brothers,
Abandon the anxious worries;
Tomorrow the sun will rise again
Friendly in the sky.
Therefore let us move on;
Do not retreat disheartenedly!
Beyond those far heights
A new happiness awaits us.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Don Lemon discredited his CNN Anchor chair by seeming to attack the accuser, and suggest something that seems perhaps to be a fantasy. If only the starving children in Africa would live near food, they wouldn't starve. If only the people of Buffalo NY would move they wouldn't get dumped with snow. If only... But this isn't altogether true. Whether men should rape is obviously known, they should not. But whether they do or not, is entirely different. Words are the weapon of the PC people. Don't do this does not equal people not doing this. Because a woman has a right to wear anything and not be called a slut, not be catcalled, not be insulted, or hit on, does not mean she won't be. She is likely to be all of those things. Men should not say or act upon those words, but they do.
So this isn't me, Alex Ness, saying Don Lemon is stupid. I haven't a clue if he is. This is me saying, you can say whatever you like, and it doesn't change reality. Men rape, men are assholes towards women. The issue at hand is about men's behavior and words, and Don Lemon said something that was fantasy, or words without a backing in reality. It to me reflects the ridiculous PC world of words over reality. The reality is, the woman in question was being attacked. Her first instinct was possibly how do I survive, not how do I hurt this fucker. People need to understand that what we need is a change of reality, not a change of words. Instead of telling people just fight back, long after the attack is done, ask perhaps what was going through her mind at the time. Get a sense of the victim's suffering. Don Lemon failed in that.
Rape is a volatile issue because at least in some cases it can be a POV issue of men/women. But there are ways to measure damage to a woman, through the rape kit, and if there are repeated victim stories that have a common accused there can be a narrative created, and more. I am not accusing Bill Cosby, but, Lemon's seeming defense of Cosby by seemingly asserting that if it were rape the victim could have stopped it by biting the penis, suggests a desire to soften the event, and make it questionable.
I suggest Lemon has made himself an ass by acting as he has, and has not helped clarify the issue. But I suggest, we need a different way of dealing with rape in America. We need to acknowledge that it happens, treat it as being something horrible, and not try to explain it away through the fantasy of words. Fantasy of words in the PC world go both ways, both to obscure, and to falsely enhance. I suggest we begin to say what things are, rather than say what they should be.
Whether or not Cosby's legacy is secure does not matter one bit. If he raped women, he should not be able to escape the punishment.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Erik Larsen has been involved in the comic book business since 1982, when he self-published his first comic, Graphic Fantasy, which contained the first incarnation of his most notable character, Savage Dragon. The character was simply called The Dragon on the cover.
|© Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons|
EL: Or beyond. It would be nice to set the kind of record that people would look at and say, “Okay…maybe I’ll try for the #2 spot.” 500 issues plus would be pretty awesome but that’s going to depend on readers hanging in there. I can’t do this without them.
PE: Working in creative professions can be very difficult without emotionally supportive people around you. Have you had any family or friends whose opinions of what you do changed over your career? Was it emotionally dramatic or anti-climactic to find that out?
PE: What change, since you started in this business, has made the biggest impact on you and your work?
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
If you Cosplay, then you are part of a grass roots marketing campaign for that character. Make no mistake about it, if you take someone else's character, make a costume that character wears, walk around in public and at Cons dressed in it, posing in it, letting people take pictures of you wearing it, then you are advertising that character. If the owners of the character do not pay you to do this and you have paid to make the costume, paid for room & board at the Con and paid entrance fees to contests, then you have paid money out of your own pocket to advertise someone else's property. If you can accept this as your choice, then good for you, but do not for one second believe that you have performed an act of creation. You may have crafted a translation of the character, but there was no creation involved.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice hits his fiancé and knocks her unconscious. He is suspended for two games and is given a path to relief from criminal charges with a diversion program where men are taught not hit or abuse women. When the general public see the whole of the event, via a security camera video from the hotel, not just mutual combat and a bigger stronger opponent striking a smaller attacker, they see the lies told, and the cover up. Whether it was a lie or cover up is not the point. As a result Ray Rice is indefinitely suspended, and is essentially banned from Football in the NFL (or CFL as the case turns out).
Adrian Peterson, Running back of the Minnesota Vikings punishes one of his children by a spanking using a stick. He leaves cuts and bruises, and force the child to have a mouthful of leaves. The child returns to his home in Texas. The child's mother takes the boy to a doctor, who considers the marks and wounds to be a result of child abuse. The results are sent to a Grand Jury and returned with no indictment. Then it is resubmitted and a felony charge of Child abuse is leveled, causing the player to be charged, and placed in jail, until he makes bail and returns to Minnesota. The case is pending, and the smoking gun is not a video, but actual bruises and wounds upon the child.
The NFL has taken a hit from these events, but there is an article with a headline/title that says it all.
Oh, you don't believe me?
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Satan’s army is a term you’d hear from a warrior or priest in the Crusades of history. How related would this fictional army be to the enemies of the Crusaders in reality?
Writing a tale that takes place around or during the Crusades immediately raises questions about the current culture’s discomfort regarding Christian and Muslim relations. That would even be true setting a modern work in the Middle and Near East. My question is, do you anticipate problems with the reader responses?
Who is the artist and what artist who you have worked with before do they most remind you of, with regards to the art?
Friday, August 22, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
Hobby Game Market Wins As It Hits $700 million
(August 18, 2014-Madison, WI) Pop culture experts ICv2 released today the results of their study on the hobby game market and it shows that the North American market totaled $700 million at retail for 2013. Breaking down the estimate for the total industry by category shows that collectible games was the largest at $450 million; miniatures second at $125 million; boardgames were third at $75 million; card and dice games fourth at $35 million; with RPGs coming in last at $15 million. “Hobby games” are defined as those games produced for “gamers” and are most often sold in the hobby channel or game and card specialty stores, but these items are not limited to sales in that market.
ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp commented, “A $700 million market is a significant geek culture market segment. With the growth it’s been experiencing, a billion dollar market is within reach in the next few years, and hopefully this kind of industry analysis will help us get there. I cannot thank enough the industry insiders who helped us compile these estimates. Without their willingness to speak frankly with us about their own estimates of market size and the reasoning behind them, we would have been unable to complete this project.”
The hobby game industry remained strong in the Spring season of 2014, according to information compiled by ICv2. In collectible games, WizKids' Dice Masters was the red hot and hard-to-find item due to high demand. Magic: The Gathering led the pack, but not as strongly as previous seasons. Boardgames continued to grow with support from hard core gamers and an influx of mainstream gamers coming over from other markets. The heat in the miniatures category came from Star Wars X-Wing and Star Trek Attack Wing, with any extra space filled by anticipation of the new edition of Warhammer 40K. The big news in the Card and Dice Game category was high interest and quick sell-out of both Boss Monster and Adventure Time Card Wars. The largest change overall in the RPG category was the failure of Dungeons and Dragons to hit the Top 5 list for Spring, before the release of the new edition. This change is a first in ICv2's decade long history of sales reporting on the hobby game industry.
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