Ancestry

Chris Mackenzie looked out at the still waters of the Loch. He probably wasn’t the first person to stand on its edge, hoping to catch a glimpse of the famed Loch Ness Monster. He was different though. He had history on his side. His great-grandfather had reported seeing the monster. He was one of the first. The fact that he had only mentioned it after the famous ‘surgeon’s photograph’ made it questionable. Chris believed his great-grandfather though and he’d travelled to Scotland to prove something.

He’s a fool. Full of high-minded ideas about his ancestry.

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Thor Ragnarok and Colonialism

[Spoilers for Thor Ragnarok]

So, some weeks ago I was watching the latest offering in the Marvel Cinematic Universe about a superhero whose mythos and supporting cast are drawn from Norse mythology. Here’s the thing. I know most of the work of director Taika Waititi and eagerly awaited Thor Ragnarok purely because of the comedy stylings of its director meeting the solid structure powerhouse that is Marvel Studios. The film was loved for its humour and action. For my money, it’s not my favourite Taika Waititi film (What We Do in the Shadows) or my favourite Marvel movie (Captain America The First Avenger), but that’s a matter of personal taste and there’s certainly lots to love about the film. The thing I want to discuss in regards to Thor Ragnarok is a couple of scenes in particular. However, first, I have to talk about Hela.

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Who Should You Write About?

I find myself being very introspective of late. Perhaps it’s just that time of year. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have a short one-act play burning in my back pocket that’s all about the responsibility of writers and the power that writers have over the grand narrative. It might have been disingenuous of me to eliminate social media into that above creative thesis. Anyway, I’m getting off track thinking about a project that most of you haven’t even seen. Let’s focus on what you might have actually seen. My website has quite a few pieces on it that I’ve noticed fall into a broad catergory: Men thinking about their past and their relationship with the women in their life. Now, upon this realisation I thought to myself: God, am I really that boring? Then it lead me to the thesis point of this whole piece: Who Should You Write About?

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The Holiday

Ronan looked over the bright blue bubbling sea. He looked above to the cloudless blue sky with its taunting yellow sun shining down on the earth below. The day was a balmy thirty-degree day on the east coast of Australia. Down below he heard the frolicking laughs of young kids and their nagging of their parents filling the pool area. He stood on his balcony, noting the slight breeze. This was a perfectly lovely day, he told himself as he tried desperately to believe it. He felt the cool tiles of the balcony against his bare feet and decided it was time to head inside.

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What Words Mean

In the words of Hamlet ‘words, words, words’. So, language is sort of my thing. It kind of comes with the territory of being a writer. Naturally, I think about the nature of language and how we use it. Language is how our brains translate our inner thoughts into outward communication. Language is one of the ways in which we exert power in the world. Now, with the Internet breaking down all the barriers, most people have a chance to voice their thoughts. That’s a double-edged sword that we’re still living under. So, let’s look at words and how they function in the modern world.

So, I have this strange linguistic dichotomy in me. Say I’m in a conversation with friends and one of them uses the wrong term, using stagnant instead of static for example. I might catch the mistake and mention the correct word. They’ll apologize and we’ll all move on. However, sometimes it’s worth noting that using the correct word doesn’t matter. So long as the two people in the conversation know what is being said, then as long as meaning is conveyed it sort of doesn’t matter how the language is used.

On the other hand, there are a few words that I care about that I demand be used properly. Like ‘political correctness’, like ‘ethics in game journalism’, like ‘feminism’. To me, using these terms correctly matters, even in casual conversation, and I’ll explain why. Look, I know how this looks. It looks like I’m about to start a rant. The truth of it is that I’m maybe about to start a rant.

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The Last Human

They say she lives in the Undercity. They say it reminds her of home. She is the last human. I went looking for her. It is not an easy path. Not many people travel to the Undercity anymore, just plunderers and scavengers. Not company I often associate with. An old friend, Nate, heard I was looking for a way into the Undercity. He took me to a bar on the street level. I rarely visited the lower levels. My work was in an office building. My home was in another skyscraper. All my friends lived in the high rises of the Overcity.

Nate introduced me to a man. The man was bald and in his mid-fifties, well, that was the face he wore at least. None of us aged anymore; we’re all made of synthetic parts. The only thing connecting us to our human heritage being our consciousness, though philosophers still debate whether the consciousness our bodies inherited was the same that belonged to our historic humanity.

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Look Who’s Back in Town

[Author’s Note: This piece is a sequel to the piece What We’ve Become.]

 

The room was all wood panelling and polished metal corporate logos. Scott Darrow sat far back in his chair in the empty room. There were several other chairs around a large wooden table. Each chair was near identical to the ones next to it. They were black, cushioned, curved, and all had wheels affixed to their legs. Scott messed with the levers, trying to lock his chair in position, slightly tilted, so he could sit back comfortably. Once he was successfully adjusted, he began spinning towards the spotless glass windows. The windows reached from floor to ceiling. From his position, he could see most of the city. Part of his vision was blocked by skyscrapers taller than the comparatively squat office building he was currently in. The large wooden doors swung open as his agent stormed into the room.

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