Changes

It’s not you I hate Cardassian, I hate what I became, because of you.

Miles O’Brien spoke those words to a Cardassian, an alien race the Federation had been at war with in the fictional future history of Star Trek. In the episode, O’Brien is telling a Cardassian a story of a battle he had been in, of trying to protect civilians and innocents that had been killed in the war. It’s a sign of the PTSD he suffers from. It’s a powerful scene, well worth watching.

I am starting to understand what he might mean when he says that. Those two lines, and the power behind them.

Today, early in the morning on the east coast, Donald Trump announced Via Twitter that he and Melania Trump have both tested positive Covid-19. When my wife told me the news my response was simple. “I won’t feel bad if he dies. I’m not hoping he does, but if he does, I’m not going to shed a tear.”

I lied. There’s a part of me that is hoping he dies. There’s a part of me that thinks of all the things that he’s done. Muslim bans, kids in cages, forced hysterotomies, dismissing global warming as a hoax, his treatment of the BLM movement and cries for justice. Refusing to denounce white supremist groups. Dismissing Coronavirus as a “china virus’ and as a ploy to hurt him politically and his handling of it as over 200k Americans have died. All that and so much more.

Then there’s a part of me that’s so distrustful of anything he says that I wonder if he truly has gotten the disease. How do we know he’s not trying to drum up sympathy after that dreadful debate? What if he uses it as an excuse to stay in for the next 2 weeks, tweeting about how it’s not that bad, and skips the next debates under the guise of the virus. Then after, emerges victoriously telling us it’s no big deal and he took hydroxychloroquine and that anyone can get through it, when in truth they never had it.

It’s not you I hate Cardassian, I hate what I became, because of you.

I don’t like the thoughts running through my head tonight. That’s why I’m here writing them out. It’s why I remembered this scene and re-watched it. I don’t support Trump, I never have, and never will. I didn’t support or like Bush either. But I don’t think I ever wished for his death, directly or indirectly.

Like it or not, America has changed in the last four years because of Trump. Because of who he is, and what he has done. There have been signs of hope, light in the darkness in the age of Trump. Lawyers banding together to defeat the Muslim ban, those helping refugees at the borders and fighting the separation and conditions in the concentration camps. Young people taking to the streets to demand justice and reform with BLM, and not just black americans, but white americans demanding that something change because what is going on is no longer acceptable, it never should have been, and it’s time for change.

But, those thoughts are there, and I’m not alone. Looking over Twitter “There is a God” is trending as a response to Trump contracting the disease. Hoax and TrumpVirus are trending, all from people talking about him getting the disease. Most seem to be celebrations of him getting sick, or of sarcasm given how he has handled everything.

It’s not you I hate Cardassian, I hate what I became, because of you.

Or perhaps more accurately, It’s not you I hate Trump, I hate what I became, because of you.

Like him or leave him. Love him or hate him, wherever you fall on the scale of Trump, he has changed us. He has changed us all, and not for the better.

Whatever happens with him and the virus. Survives, or not, it doesn’t matter. He’s changed us, changed me.

I hate what I’ve become, because of him.

Black Lives Matter

George Floyd. Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor.

These are all names of Black Americans killed by the police or systemic racism. These are all names I should not know. These are all people who should be alive and living in general obscurity.

Instead they are people, part of a ever growing list, of Black Americans killed by police, or killed with no justice because our system allows – or encourages it.

I have been uncharacteristically quiet on this matter, and I apologize. Perhaps I’m fatigued from the onslaught that is 2020. That’s not an excuse. Because I might be fatigued, but I am not dead.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. Black. Lives. Matter. This shouldn’t be controversial. This is simple to understand. Black Lives Matter Too.

I’ve written before on race issues on this site. Boggled that Nazis still exist. Sure that Racism is dying. (For the record, I still believe this. I have to, because things have to get better, but we have to make them get better). But I am not stupid. I know we have to continue to fight, to speak up, to make racism die and to fight for the future we want. I have two children. I want them to grow up in an America where our words match our actions. Liberty and Justice for all. Right to the pursuit of happiness. All men (people) are created equal.

I have no more words, other than

Black Lives Matter.

MIB International – Have we met?

mibWow, September is the last time I wrote anything on here? I didn’t review Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, or End Game? Or any of the other movies that have come out? I haven’t even finished the new season of The Tick! yet. Wow, I’ve missed a lot on here. Well time to get back to it. I’m back in time for Spider-Man Far From Home, and today we watched MIB International.

It opens up with Thor and the guy from Taken. Wait, is that right? *Checks notes* oh, Chris Hemsworth and surprise Liam Neeson. Typical MIB stuff ensues, cut to child Valkyrie *Checks Notes* Oh, Tessa Thompson. There’s a cute little alien that in no way will have anything to do with anything later, and MIB hijinks, and then cut to adult Tessa. Adult Tessa is looking for the MIB, she knows they’re out there and she wants in.

I’m going to continue to recap the movie after this. I’ll cut to the chase of it. This movie is…ok. It lays off all of the MIB hey look whos an alien! for the most part. I mean yeah there was a refrence to Kanye West, which wouldn’t excuse anything he’s done. And theres the monitor gag again, though I didn’t recognize who they had on there. YouTubers maybe? I dunno. Some of the gags are there, the red button and strange aliens, like a beard alien and yeah.

I don’t know, it didn’t work out all that well for me. Which is too bad because Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson can both be really funny actors. We saw that in Thor: Ragnarok. There’s great chemistry between them or was at least in Thor. Most of MIB Int. was just…boring. Nothing really all that funny or exciting. There’s a plotline about a mole in MIB that becomes fairly obvious who the issue is. And I don’t know, it just doesn’t quite work.

If we’re comparing it to the other MIB movies, it’s between 1 and 3. Both of those were great movies, 2 could have been better, particularly if it was more movie and less 2-hour product placement. At least MIB 3 isn’t going down that road.

If you’re going to the movies right now and looking for something to watch. I dunno, see End Game again. At least Hemsworth gives a good multi-layered performance there. And Thompson while brief, is better there too. There’s the new X-Men movie, or just wait for Spider-Man next month.

Signed Copies

IMG_20180927_213752Have you ever gotten a book signed by the author? I’ve managed it once when Kevin Hearne was doing a book signing tour to promote A Plague of Giants. I also have a signed copy of Cold Days by Jim Butcher my mom managed to find at a used bookstore.

Well if you want to get a book thats been signed and written a customized message for you, I’m now accepting orders for my book Agents of the Third Party: The Beginning. I just got a bunch of copies delivered, and I’m selling them for the same price as from Amazon, for $10. Just hit the button below and you’ll get to have a signed copy right from the author!


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The House with a Clock in its Walls: Review

the-house-with-a-clock-in-its-wallsIt’s a Kimono! Such is the setup for the comedic vibes of The House with a Clock in its Walls starring Jack Black. But is it just a comedic romp through a Halloween home filled with exploding malicious pumpkins or is there more to this movie? The short answer is yes. But let me back up and give you some more of the story.  Continue reading “The House with a Clock in its Walls: Review”

Cracks in the Tapestry: Coming Soon

cov front only 5 x 8 - names fixedWhat if a bunch of authors got together and wrote a bunch of short stories and published them together into one volume? You get an anthology, not exactly an uncommon thing.  About a year ago, I woke up and thought why don’t indie authors do this? Apparently indie authors do this all the time, but actually researching this idea was too much for my just awoken brain to comprehend and instead, it moved full steam ahead.

Wake up my phone, throw my monumental idea into the ether that is Facebook author groups and then go have breakfast and hang out with my family on my day off. I mean it’s not like anyone was really going to bite at this right? Continue reading “Cracks in the Tapestry: Coming Soon”

Review: Iron Fist Season 2

Iron-Fist-Season-2-PosterDid you watch the first season of Iron Fist? It was pretty bad. There was this whole subplot with Joy and Ward that really didn’t matter. Their dad, who did kinda matter, but not much. and some stuff with The Hand, and yeah. It was kinda boring, and Finn Jones, while being a decent enough actor, was a terrible martial artist. His fight scenes were boring and slow and made it hard to believe him as the Iron Fist, the greatest warrior of Kun-Lun. By far the best reason to watch it was Colleen Wing played by Jessica Henwick. Her fights are fast, fun, and very believable.

Finn Jones improved in The Defenders, and we see more of that here. His fights are much more believable, faster paced and I can believe this guy can do martial arts. He’s still nowhere close to Colleen Wing, (she actually has to retrain him at one point in the series). All the same, the improvements are greatly appreciated and bring some excitement to the fight scenes. If you’re thinking that Season 1 was really bad (and seriously it’s got its faults, like a lot of them) and that you should skip Season 2, I wouldn’t recommend it. Continue reading “Review: Iron Fist Season 2”

Anthology Cover Reveal

cov front only 5 x 8 - names fixed

About a year ago I woke up and thought it would be great to find a bunch of other indie authors and put together an anthology of stories, just like I keep seeing from some of my favorite major authors. Why shouldn’t we indies get in on some of that fun too? I put the idea out into a couple of author groups I belong to on facebook, expected very little and went on with my day.

My day ended up consisting of constantly talking and responding to questions and comments from more authors than I ever expected to hear from. It’s been a journey, and I’m happy to have shared it with this great group of authors. It’s been my pleasure to write and edit and help put everything together with all of them.

And now I’m pleased to finally reveal the first bit of this project. Cracks in the Tapestry, the first of hopefully many anthologies that we will be putting together.

Soon you’ll get to enjoy this collection of stories. Where the real world and the fantastical touch. Currently, we have an expected release date of October 21st. Keep a watch on my feeds and everyone else’s, we’ll have preorder information available soon.

When its out I hope you enjoy it as much as we have and if you haven’t before you should check out all of these great authors.

Leslie Conzatti:
Http://www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
Http://www.facebook.com/leslieconzattiwriter

C. Scott Davis:
http://sharedwords.net/cscott

J. D. Cunegan: Http://www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
Http://www.facebook.com/leslieconzattiwriter

Benjamin D. Pegg: https://authorbenjamindpegg.wixsite.com/website https://www.facebook.com/benjamindpegg/

R. Eric Smith:
https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/conspiracy-kooks http://wilder-investigations.com/gn_mirror_mirror.php

And Lorna Woulfe: https://www.facebook.com/LornaWoulfeAuthor/

Movie Review: Teen Titans GO! To the Movies

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Part of being a parent means I get to watch kids movies. Sometimes this is great when it’s something like The Incredibles II. It’s a great excuse and keeps you from looking weird at the theater buying tickets to a kids movie without a kid with you.

Other times though it means I end up watching movies like The Emoji Movie and The Nut Job 2. This time I got to watch Teen Titans GO! to the Movies. Let me preface this right away that I was not looking forward to this. I had watched the excellent Teen Titans series that had been on Cartoon Network and really enjoyed it, even if the anime-inspired art style was annoying (this is a personal peeve of mine, I know I’m likely in a minority on this). I’ve also watched the terrible Teen Titans GO! cartoon also on Cartoon Network. About the best thing I could ever say about it is at least the people making it still have jobs.

Spoilers contained below:

Continue reading “Movie Review: Teen Titans GO! To the Movies”

Movie Review: The Incredibles 2

35405023_954547538051414_8134967456499236864_nIt’s been a little while since I’ve written a review, and it’s been a while since Pixar released The Incredibles. So it’s only fitting that now that Pixar has finally (14 years later!) given us a sequel, that I get back to writing reviews, but I’m not waiting 14 years to do it. Pixar fully recognizes the time between movies, there is a short bit with all of the actors and Brad Bird himself letting us know they know its been like, forever, but that it’s all worth it.

There will be spoilers. You have been warned. But they’ll hide after the jump.

The Incredibles 2 picks up exactly where the first movie drops off. The Under Miner (mole man) has risen to let everyone know that he is here, and stuff is going to happen. Roll Credits. The Incredibles 2 starts right here. (minor spoilers for like, first 10 minutes of the movie)  There’s a thrilling and pretty funny fight scene that has them all passing the baby Jack-Jack off to each other. The Under Miner who popped up to tell everyone that there is no one below him (Which seriously makes no sense) then proceeds to rob a bank. I’m not really sure why he’s robbing a bank. Do they use money below us with the mole people? Are there mole people? Don’t know, the Under Miner gets away and is never mentioned nor heard from again.

Continue reading “Movie Review: The Incredibles 2”

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