Tag Archives: ELE

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy, Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN 0307265439

Available new or used at barnesandnoble.com

A friend mentioned the movie based on this book in conversation today, so I thought I’d post a short review of this Pulitzer Prize winning (2007) novel here for your reading enjoyment. I read this book last fall, just before the movie was released. I’m a bit of a connoisseur of post-apocalyptic literature, and this baby fit right into that category just fine.

It’s dark. It’s raw. It’s also a grammarian and English teacher’s worst nightmare. McCarthy wrote this book in some new age texting inspired style with no quotes, no commas, sentence fragments, etc. Still, it’s an enjoyable read. Being a bit anal about punctuation, grammar, and the imminent demise of the English language (whole ‘nother article needed for that topic), it was a wee bit disconcerting to read a book written in this style… at least for the first few minutes. Once the story grabbed me, forget it. I wasn’t paying attention to anything but the story after that. He could have written it in crayon and I wouldn’t have noticed.

It’s a simple story of a man and a boy trying to survive some hinted at, but not quite explicitly stated, extinction level event. My guess was a limited nuclear exchange of some sort, which nevertheless breached the minimum required to trigger a nuclear winter event. The story follows father and son in their trek to find the seashore; and the daily miseries of dealing with slow starvation, sickness, and roving bands of cannibals. As I said above, it’s dark. It’s raw. Don’t expect “once upon a time” storybook happy endings here, folks.

This is the only book he’s written that I’ve read. While I’m not much on his writing style (mechanics), I like the story. There’s something Virginia Woolf-ish about his stream-of-consciousness writing, except Woolf actually used punctuation. It was a haunting story. Despite McCarthy’s non-traditional writing style, I would definitely recommend this book. I’m not sure it was Pulitzer Prize worthy, but it really was a good story. Give it a go if you get the chance. It read really fast for me, but that often depends on each reader’s preferences. One person’s page turner is another’s sleeping pill. I think you’ll like it, though.

Until next time, folks…

~Eric

Oh-My-Gawd! We’re All Gonna Die!

WARNING! This article contains skeptical analysis of ridiculous fantasies perpetuated by listeners of late night AM radio and other assorted inbred whack jobs living in plywood shacks in the deep forest.

If you are a member of one of the above mentioned groups… SHEEESH!  What the hell are you people smokin’?

2012 and Counting is a great article by Dr. David Morrison that can be read in full at the Skeptic.com website. I’m going to quote a bit of it here, but I highly recommend reading the article. Interesting stuff!

PUBLIC CONCERN ABOUT DOOMSDAY IN December 2012 has blossomed into a major new presence on the Internet. This fear has begun to invade cable TV and Hollywood, and it is rapidly spreading internationally. The hoax originally concerned a return of the fictitious planet Nibiru in 2012, but it received a big boost when conspiracy theory websites began to link it to the end of the Mayan calendar long count at the winter solstice (December 21) of 2012.

This is funny. I just saw an interview on some PBS program the other day where present-day descendants of the Mayans get a laugh out of all this. They claim the calendar just ended… nothing mysterious about it. The Mayans just stopped it at that point. Whether they intended to pick it back up again is unknown. The point though, is that they just decided to stop chiseling notches in stone tablets at that point. Maybe they just ran out of sharp chisels. Who knows?

As this hoax spreads, many more doomsday scenarios are being suggested, mostly unrelated to Nibiru. These include a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, severe solar storms associated with the 11-year solar cycle (which may peak in 2012), a reversal of Earth’s rotation axis, a 90- degree flip of the rotation axis, bombardment by large comets or asteroids, bombardment by gamma rays, or various unspecified lethal rays coming from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy or the “dark rift” seen in a nearby galactic spiral arm.

Why am I not surprised here? Isn’t life on this Earth complicated enough without creating fantasy ELEs? You know, it’s no wonder the psychiatry/psychology profession is so busy prescribing therapy and psychotropic drugs for so many folks these days. If the websites online and the radio programs on in the middle of the night are any hint, there’s a whole lot of mental instability out there. Scary, huh?

I answer questions from the public submitted online to a NASA website, and over the past two years the Nibiru-2012 doomsday has become the dominant topic people ask about. Many are curious about things they have seen on the Internet or TV, but many are also angry about supposed government cover-ups. As one wrote “Why are you lying about Nibiru? Everyone knows it is coming.” Others are genuinely frightened that the world will end just three years from now. My frustration in answering questions piecemeal motivates this “Twenty Questions” format…

Read the rest of the article to see how efficiently Dr. Morrison addresses concerns in the Q/A format he speaks of above.

In the meantime, watch out… these folks are your co-workers, your neighbors, even your own family members. Next time you’re visiting weird uncle Bill, keep an eye open for his tin foil headgear and accessories.

Well, I gotta’ run, folks. The ol’ bomb shelter out back needs some spring cleaning. Hmm… wonder how old those MREs are? Oooh! Choclolate cake from Desert Storm. YUM!

Later…

~Eric