PRISONERS OF TRUMP’S EGO

I think it’s worth discussing Donald Trump’s peculiar, even bizarre history with the Coronavirus.
 
Trump supporters of course agree that the President did everything perfectly, everyone else is to blame, the Chinese lied, governors undermined the country, the WHO is corrupt, and no matter how many die, the President has done and is doing a terrific job, better than anyone else. Nonsense of course.
 
But it’s worth going back and taking a deeper look. What exactly happened? Why did the United States do essentially nothing through January? Why did the President spend most of February and early March minimizing the issue? Why does the United States continue to flounder today?
 
Admittedly, not everything can be blamed on the President. Most of the nations of the developed world have been slow off the mark, criminally so. In the United States, there’s an outbreak of what can only be called idiocy as Governors, states, state populations, communities and people just refuse to appreciate the risk – how else to explain mega-church services, or public beaches open in Florida, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Spring break parties, and what appears to be a right wing cause in rejection of social distancing. There’s a lot of blame to go around, especially in the United States.
 
But I would argue that in this pandemic, there is a central figure who has single handedly moved the needle from crisis to disaster.
 
Donald Trump: Essentially, he’s a poorly informed, disinterested narcissist.
 
If it doesn’t actually involve him directly, he’s not interested.  This isn’t my opinion. This is actually the recurring observation of a number of sources, including the ghost-writer of Art of the Deal. It’s a recurring observation from a number of sources former white house staff persons and insiders. He hates to read, he likes pictures, he’s uninterested in briefings, he is extremely incurious.
 
He’s literally only interested in his own initiatives and ideas, whether it be buying Greenland, threatening and then meeting with North Korea, confrontations with Iran, or tearing up trade deals and treaties. Basically, if its not coming from him, he’s just not interested.
 
This has put most of his senior cabinet on the wrong foot steadily, except for Kushner. Because anything they advocate, or initiate or any progress they make, is a threat to him, so he undermines them, or demands ingratiation, flattery and obedience. Any policy formulation or legislative development from the White House is invariably sabotaged by Trump himself.

Read morePRISONERS OF TRUMP’S EGO

LEXX Unauthorized, Series 2 – The Light at the End of the Universe

IT’S ARRIVED!  THE  CHRONICLES OF LEXX SERIES TWO officially released! 

Now hear the stories of episodes dreamt and episodes realized, last minute inventions, cast changes, surrealism and sci fi.

It can be found on Amazon, Smashwords and Draft 2 Digital, Kobo and many other platforms.  It may take a little time to go through, but definitely look for it.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1012721

I hope that it lives up to expectations.

Remember, this is a small private project, so if you like it, let me know. Post reviews. Recommend it to fellow LEXXians, Cult Sci Fi enthusiasts, and just about anyone else you can think of.

 

Countdown to LEXX: The Graveyard

OPENING SCENE – DEEP SPACE – The LEXX is cruising through empty space. It turns, the Gigashadow looms in front of it. The LEXX cruises slowly past as the Gigashadow turns slowly, motionless. It’s not the Gigashadow, just another of the species, and its dead, scorch marks and gouges in its side. As the frame opens, there are other carcasses of dead insects, some dismembered, all of them visibly damaged. The LEXX passes among the dead leviathans, as it flies, small insectoid forms – things resembling stingers and moths, spiders, crabs, centipedes and beetles are visible, forms strange and exotic and all clearly dead. One of the drifting objects is a craft that is half viking longboat and half scorpion.

CUT TO – LEXX Bridge – Stan, Kai and Xev are looking up at the viewscreen, as the LEXX cruises through the insect graveyard. Stan is pensive.

STAN
This gives me the creeps. I think we need to get out of here.

The third LEXX script never actually got written. I had a story worked out, just never followed through.

So you’re probably wondering, why don’t I just upload the second script that I actually did, instead of just blathering away over something that never got done? And for that matter, why didn’t I?

I thought it might make for an interesting story in and of itself.

I started with the Insect Wars….

Let me back up a little for those who don’t know LEXX (and if you don’t, I’m not sure why you’re reading this), the backstory of LEXX, particularly the first two seasons, is that many many thousands of years ago, there were two space faring races. Humanity and the Insects. Unfortunately, the Universe was only big enough for one. The great conflict was called the Insect Wars and ended with the near extermination of the Insect race and the ascendancy of humanity, lead by the Brunnen G.

Unfortunately, a single insect survived, and was able to pass its ‘soul’ or ‘essence’ into a human host. This human/insect became the first Divine Shadow, created the Divine Order, and proceeded on a plan, over thousands of years, to wipe out the human race. That was always Paul Donovan’s backstory.

Details changed over time. Originally, the Divine Order’s homeworld, The Cluster was a giant graveyard/war memorial, and the Divine Order started off as grave keepers, which influenced their costumes/uniforms, their traditions and rituals and technology.

Later on, in Gigashadow and Mantrid that got retconned a bit, The Cluster was just the small world/big asteroid where the last Insect hid to wait for its victim, no war memorial, no monument, etc. Instead, just the dormant insect, being fed on human flesh and growing and growing for thousands of years, while His Shadow and the Divine Order conquered much of the Universe, waiting for the apocalyptic moment when it could burst out.

But we never really did find out much about the Insect Wars. There’s a suggestion in the first season that humanity won, in part by adopting the Insects own living technology and turning it against them. I think Donovan was going to write a novel, but eventually set it aside.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX: The Graveyard

Countdown to LEXX: Remembering G….

Welcome to another one of my Blog Posts to promote or celebrate the official release of UNAUTHORIZED LEXX, From Here to the End of the Universe, Season Two, on March 31, 2020.  UNAUTHORIZED LEXX, Backstage at the Dark Zone, Season One, is already available as an ebook.

For the third season LEXX volume, there were only thirteen episodes, fifteen if you count the two versions of Rated: LEXX, and the production wasn’t nearly as chaotic or freewheeling as the first two series. So the book was going to be pretty sort. I decided to do biographies and character sketches of the key LEXX people.  This is a version of the Chapter I wrote for Lex Gigeroff.  I offer it up as a tribute to the man, no longer with us.

“On every television show, there’s one person who’s the heart, the emotional center. Every show has one, and it’s Brian, but Lex is right up there with him. He was the guy I really connected with when I was there. He was like a kid in a candy store. He was the one I got to give me a tour. He and Brian set the tone of the set.” Mark Asquith, who did the 2nd and 3rd season LEXX documentaries.

Lex Gigeroff was the sort of friendly hearty guy that’ll fix you with a merry twinkle in his eye, grin broadly, throw his arm around your shoulders as if you were his best friend, and tell you some long complicated but funny story as he reached down and felt around in your pockets looking for loose change.

He was just a fun guy.

And along with Brian Downey, he was the beating heart of the show.

This was the guy that gave his name to the show! And to Giggerotta! And the Gigashadow! Although he had only two solo writing credits, his shared credits with either or both Paul Donovan and Jeff Hirschfield, encompass roughly twenty-seven of the series episodes, and he’s credited as script editor for the entire fourth seasons episodes.

He appeared, in person and in voice through twenty roles in series, played the bound man and Divine Shadow in I Worship His Shadow, he played the musical Klaagyan in Eating Pattern, he played five roles in Lafftrack, appeared in His Shadow’s costume in Brigadoom, Doctor Rainbow in Tunnels, President Hufferton in Fluff Daddy, he has at least four voice roles in fourth series episodes. Often, he was the guy on set, fixing lines, solving problems, actively involved when Paul Donovan was doing producer stuff and Jeff Hirschfield was in Toronto.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX: Remembering G….

Countdown to LEXX – Hobo With a Shotgun!

LEXX finished it’s run in 2002. But life went on for everyone, and in 2011, Brian Downey, star of LEXX, got back together with Rutger Hauer, who had starred with Brian in the LEXX movie, Eating Pattern for a rematch – this was Hobo With a Shotgun.

The story behind the story is appropriately LEXXish. Jason Eisener and John Davies were a couple of local film makers with a wicket sense of fun, they liked gross and over the top.

Around 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were collaborating on a film project called Grindhouse, a tribute to the old B-Movies, Drive-In features, and gritty downtown moviehouses of the 1970’s. They were going all out, so not only were their movies cheesy and over the top, the films were full of scratches, burn marks and even a missing reel. As part of that grindhouse experience, they decided to run it with a series of cheesy b-movie trailers.

Robert Rodriguez created his own trailer for Machete, starring Danny Trejo, which eventually spun off into a pair of films, Machete and Machete Kills. Eli Roth who had done the Cabin Fever movies did a slasher trailer called Thanksgiving. Edgar Wright, known for Ant-Man and Scott Pilgrim, did a britsploitation called Don’t. Even Rob Zombie came in with Werewolf Women of the SS.

Rodriguez even held a grindhouse trailer contest at his South by Southwest film festival. The winners were Davies and Eisener, with the fake trailer for Hobo With a Shotgun in 2007. It ended up playing with the Tarantino Rodriguez movie in Canada.

You can find the fake trailer on youtube:

Well, apparently, it wasn’t just an award winning trailer. Within a few years, they were making a movie.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX – Hobo With a Shotgun!

Countdown to LEXX – The Lost Stories!

Ah LEXX, those classic movies and episodes – Back to the Cluster, the Return of His Shadow, Brunnen H, Dorkakia, My Bonnie, The Salesman, The Clizzards of Woz, the Last Days of the Brunnen G, Prison Planet, Flytrap...

Wait? Never heard of them?

That’s because these are the stories that got lost along the way – that were abandoned, or didn’t get made, or got pushed out of the way by better ideas.

A lot changed on the way to LEXX.

For instance, there were only going to be three movies the first season, and the middle movie was going to be Love Grows. But a very different version of Love Grows, with a live kai and mutating monsters instead of sex changes.

And the last movie was going to be Back to the Cluster, which was completely different from what got made.

Even when Gigashadow was being made, Robert Sigl, the Director turned in a completely different cut and vision of his movie.

LEXX’s creators had big plans for the second season. They were working on it and writing episodes before season one had even finished production. In June 2016, literally 18 months in advance, they released a bible for twenty episodes. Of those twenty, maybe six were made. The rest were lost or radically mutated.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX – The Lost Stories!

Countdown to LEXX – Xeveninety!

Three weeks to go!  That’s three weeks to the release of LEXX Unauthorized, Volume 2, From Here to the End of the Universe!

This is an ultimate LEXX Book, focusing on the second season of the surrealistic, sexy, strange space opera, LEXX, about a cowardly captain, an undead assassin, a virgin love slave, an annoying robot head, all of them looking for a good time, while carting about the Universe in a giant bug ten miles long that blows up planets. Twenty years in the making, packed with amazing revelations, interviews and all that good stuff!

LEXX Unauthorized, Volume One, Backstage at the Dark Zone, chronicling the first series is already out!  Volume Two will be out March 31, 2020. Don’t miss it! Spread the word!

Seriously, spread the word. I’m writing books about a series that’s been gone for almost twenty years. They’re good books, they’re amazing books, but, I could use some help. A little word of mouth, dropping notes to fellow Lexx fans, or even anyone into cult sci fi. I’d appreciate it. Really. Do me a solid, help a guy out.

To promote the book, I’m circulating weekly blog posts, to hopefully raises some interest.  So here goes!  Today, I’m offering up an entire LEXX script, never before seen by human eyes.

XEVENINETY – a bit Gothic romance, a bit ghost story, a bit Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and all LEXX all the time….

Read moreCountdown to LEXX – Xeveninety!

Countdown to Lexx – Farscape vs Lexx

Hey!  Free stuff!

The next few posts are to try and drum up some interest and attention for Lexx Unauthorized, Volume 2.  [Seriously! I’m trying to sell this book. So if you’re reading this, do me a solid, share the link, pass the word, and circulate this to anyone out there who might possibly be interested? I’d be ever so grateful!]

I thought I’d take people on a little trip down memory lane.

Lexx was a late 1990’s, early 2000’s Canadian cult television series about a group of fugitives fleeing on board a gigantic living space ship. The crew consisted of a red suited former prisoner, a mysterious black clad former agent of the evil empire, a plant lady, a half-alien woman, and an animatronic puppet, notable for wacky situations, occasional nudity and off the wall humour.

Farscape was a late 1990’s, early 2000’s  Australian cult television series about a group of fugitives fleeing on board a gigantic living space ship. The crew consisted of a red suited former prisoner, a mysterious black clad former agent of the evil empire, a plant lady, a half-alien woman, and an animatronic puppet, notable for wacky situations, occasional nudity. and off the wall humour.

Okay, they weren’t quite identical. Farscape was a lot less nihilistic, less surreal, and featured an American astronaut, John Crichton, trapped in deep space with the crew of fugitives learning to survive. In the first series, Crichton got beat up a lot but as time went on he drifted into the heroic american hero mold. The series had a lot more animatronic puppetry, I think that the Henson people were more involved.

They were both part of that post-Star Trek backlash that rebelled against the ST:NG sensibility that included a number of other series, like Battlestar Galactica, Starhunter, Babylon 5 etc.

Anyway, I loved them both.  At the time they were on, I used to frequent Bulletin Boards discussing each.  It was fun. I made friends, we had lively weird discussions.  I did a bit of writing, a bit of speculation.

And I accidentally created The Bobs.

Who were The Bobs?  They were cosmic rednecks, Jim Bob Turhok, Billy Bob Truckstop, and Bob Bob Roberts, divine beings of awesome power, low intelligence and lower appetites, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Imagine Star Trek’s Q, with less intelligence, less taste and a more active libido.

Read moreCountdown to Lexx – Farscape vs Lexx

Countdown to LEXX

COMING SOON: March 31, 2020
LEXX Unauthorized, Volume Two,
The Light at the End of a Universe

WHAT IS LEXX: A ground breaking Canadian sci fi television series, created by Paul Donovan, Lex Gigeroff and Jeff Hirschfield, shot and produced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Salter Street Films, that ran four seasons between 1996 and 2002.

WHAT IS LEXX: The stories of a giant dragonfly, ten miles long, created to destroy planets for the Divine Order, now stolen by renegades. And of its crew – Stanley Tweedle, former security guard fourth class, former traitor, full time coward and Captain; Kai, a two thousand year old, unstoppable, indestructible, divine assassin; Zev, a runaway love slave with cluster lizard in her DNA; and 790, a lovestruck, increasingly psychotic, decapitated robot head.

WHAT IS LEXX: The most surreal, subversive, and imaginative space opera every created, an anarchic blend of Bunuel, Jodorowsky, Monty Python, Hard Science, Low Comedy, Catholic guilt, Lovecraftian horror, teen lust, deep cynicism and high ideals. It’s Charlie Chaplin in space, if Chaplin blew up planets and was directed by Kurosawa. It’s Star Trek, if Star Trek was evil, amoral and funny. And that description, as bizarre as it sounds, doesn’t come close to doing the show justice.

WHAT IS LEXX UNAUTHORIZED?  They are the unauthorized, behind the scenes, books about the evolution and creation of the most wildly surreal show ever made, based on unique access and hundreds of hours of interviews with the stars, creators, writers, directors and production crew.  Volume One is out. Volume Two will be out. Volume Three and Four are written and in editing.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX

The Pitchening!

Actually, it should be ‘Writer’s Idol,’ but I am inexplicably fond of a James Franco/Danny McBride fantasy/quest movie called ‘Your Highness.’ If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry about it, it’s probably for the best. But it features an evil wizard who wants to bring about doomsday by deflowering the Princess, a process he calls the ‘****ening.’ So, I like ‘The Pitchening.

And just now, on the subject of this blog, it occurs to me that maybe knowing more about my process is not a good thing.

Anyhow, here’s the deal. The Luck is coming out on August 1 (you’ll get tired of hearing that), so I need to get on the old promotional trail. That includes conventions, and I suppose that conventions include Winnipeg’s oldest and most respected Sci Fi Convention, Keycon.

So I’ve signed up for Keycon, bought my membership and all. I’d have done it anyway, Steve Erickson, the Malazan Empire guy, is the guest this year, and he’s a friend, we were in a writers group together back in the day (seriously – look up the dedication in Gardens of the Moon, there we all are). So it will be nice to see him, and maybe see if he’ll give me a plug for old time’s sake.

I’m also going to try and get on a few panels. I like panels, I’m good at them.

It’s peculiar. I have no social skills. No small talk at all, my idea of small talk is to make eye contact and stare at someone until they go away. Making conversation is excruciating. Oddly, that works for me, because apparently I’m a terrific and sympathetic listener. But really, no social skills. Find it, fix it, build it, kill it, I’m right there – object oriented programming, task based, achievement focused, process driven, learn, do, goal, object, closure completion – that’s me. Having a conversation? That’s sometimes excruciating. Sometimes I’m kind of like a robot, but with less personality (apologies to robots).

Read moreThe Pitchening!