Posts By: Mark Alexander

Atmospheric

After being bombarded with promos at work (at one point it was the company-wide forced Windows wallpaper), out of curiosity last year we started watching Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. I have to admit that the story  got off to a rather slow start, but it was intriguing enough that we stuck with it, and it’s now become one of my most anticipated viewings every week. As we were watching the last episode, I realized how much I liked the theme, Deminonde, so I went off to iTunes and grabbed the whole album.

No regrets whatsoever on that purchase. I can only describe it as atmospheric. Kind of moody, kind of reflective, with a contemplative undertone running throughout. It immediately became my go-to commute music, offering a nice, quiet counterpoint to the abrasive stupidity I encounter on Denver highways, and great music to write to.

I’d never heard of this particular composer, Abel Korzeniowski, but I’m hearing a lot of different influences in the music. In Street. Horse. Smell. Candle. I almost felt he was paying homage to James Newton Howard’s Signs soundtrack.

One reviewer wrote:

PENNY DREADFUL Soundtrack Will Unsettle and Disturb

Showtime’s Penny Dreadful provided a story caught between horror and poetry with long monologues, superior acting and immaculate costume work. These aspects created a very strong tone, but the score was the final touch — solidifying the never ending, disturbed and unsettling mood. Composer Abel Korzeniowski (A Single ManW.E.) proves that he is more than adept at creating a horrifying, creeping tingle that will climb up any listener’s spines. The Gothic horror sounds of the orchestra Korzeniowski uses transport listeners to a dark old London where the walls are alive and the hairs on their neck stand on end.

There is a very clear overall feel to the soundtrack. The order of the songs could be randomized and the tone would remain the same. After the opening with “Demimonde” (the opening theme of the show) the listener will be treated to a crushing song, “First Blood”, delivering a haunting sense of impending doom. It will be hard for some listeners to sit still with the strings and drums pushing their ears and minds to run as fast as they can. Many of the tracks are beautiful (particularly “Dorian Gray”), nearly appropriate for what one would imagine dancing was like in old London. These tracks, though less creepy, never lose the dark tones, there is always an impending sense of horror, darkness and futility.

Penny Dreadful’s soundtrack is everything that a film composer wants. It not only fits within the tone of the show but can create it without any visuals. Korzeniowski has proven himself as a TV Drama series composer with this album and will hopefully return for the second season. The vibrant sounds of this album are sure to please any fans of classical or soundtrack music, as well as anyone seeking to be unsettled with beauty, after all “to be beautiful is to be almost dead.”

If you haven’t seen the series, check out the teasers below:


As If He Had a Snowball’s Chance in Hell to Begin With…

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made a statement on Facebook Friday addressing the revelations that eldest son Josh Duggar admitted to sexually molesting “girls,” presumably his own sisters, as a teenager.

The former Arkansas governor largely defended the actions of the family since the abuse and said he wanted to “affirm” support for the family. “Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable,’” Huckabee’s statement said. The Duggar family endorsed former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in the 2012 election, but have backed Huckabee for the Republican presidential nomination this time around.

Huckabee continued, “No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgement is not mature.”

(more)

UPDATE: Absolutely Fucking Unbelievable. And the judge was appointed by Huckabee.

Clown Car


Although to be perfectly fair, this image pretty much sums up any candidate and their money source these days…

Giddy

The wheels are in motion!

We have secured a new residence in Phoenix. Now all I need is a job.

T-minus 65 days!

Drama Queen

From Right Wing Watch:

After warning that a Supreme Court decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage could lead to a civil war, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson took to WorldNetDaily yesterday to warn that “barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself.”

Dobson wrote that the “homosexual activist movement” is bent on “overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia” and turning the U.S. into Sodom and Gomorrah.

“Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture,” Dobson wrote. “Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility.”

I do not recall a time when the institutions of marriage and the family have faced such peril, or when the forces arrayed against them were more formidable or determined. Barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself. This is a time for concerted prayer, divine wisdom and greater courage than we have ever been called upon to exercise.

For more than 50 years, the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the destruction or redesign of the family. Many of these objectives have largely been realized, including widespread support of the gay lifestyle, discrediting of Scriptures that condemn homosexuality or sexual immorality, muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, inclusion of gays and lesbians in all branches of the military, granting of special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrinating children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies. By promoting what is known as LGBT, we must remember that the “B” stands for bisexuality. That would include acceptance of sexual relations between both genders in groups and among every category of sexual expression outside the bonds of marriage. Now the proponents of LGBT seek to legalize gay and lesbian marriage, which could mean anything or nothing in a few years.

Admittedly, there have been various societies in history where homosexuality has flourished, including the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. None of these civilizations survived. Furthermore, even where sexual perversion was tolerated or flourished, the institution of marriage continued to be honored in law and custom. Only in the last few years has what is called “gay marriage” been given equal status with biblical male-female unions. In fact, to date only 18 countries in the world recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. America appears on the verge of becoming No. 19. God help us if we throw the divine plan for humankind on the ash heap of history.

Let’s get to the bottom line. If the U.S. Supreme Court redefines marriage to include same-sex unions, I guarantee you that it will not be the end of the matter. An avalanche of court cases will be filed on related issues that can’t even be imagined today. Here are a few that we can foresee:

1. Religious liberty will be assaulted from every side. You can be certain that conservative churches will be dragged into court by the hundreds. Their leaders will be required to hire people who don’t share the beliefs of their denominations and constituents. Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture. Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility.

2. Christian businesses and ministries will be made to dance to the government’s tune. We’ve all seen examples of photographers, bakeries and florists being required to serve at gay weddings, on penalty of closure or bankruptcy. This kind of legal oppression is coming all across the nation.

3. Christian colleges may be unable to teach scriptural views of marriage. Any nonprofit Christian organization that opposes same-sex unions, including our own, will likely lose its tax-exempt status. Many will be forced to close their doors.

I’m sure the Downfall of Western Civilization will come as a surprise to Canada, Mexico, and most of Europe.

I Just Can’t

I just can’t even. Did he fall down and bang his widdle head? Is it something in the fucking water down there?

Texas Governor Deploys State Guard to Stave Off Obama Takeover

Since General Sam Houston executed his famous retreat to glory to defeat the superior forces of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Texas has been ground zero for military training. We have so many military bases in the Lone Star State we could practically attack Russia.

So when rookie Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was ordering the Texas National Guard to monitor a Navy SEAL/Green Beret joint training exercise, which was taking place in Texas and several other states, everybody here looked up from their iPhones. What?

It seems there is concern among some folks that this so-called training maneuver is just a cover story. What’s really going on? President Obama is about to use Special Forces to put Texas under martial law.

Let’s walk over by the fence where nobody can hear us, and I’ll tell you the story.

You see, there are these Wal-Marts in West Texas that supposedly closed for six months for “renovation.” That’s what they want you to believe. The truth is these Wal-Marts are going to be military guerrilla-warfare staging areas and FEMA processing camps for political prisoners. The prisoners are going to be transported by train cars that have already been equipped with shackles.

Don’t take my word for it. That comes directly from a Texas Ranger, who seems pretty plugged in, if you ask me. You and I both know President Obama has been waiting a long time for this, and now it’s happening. It’s a classic false flag operation. Don’t pay any attention the mainstream media; all they’re going to do is lie and attack everyone who’s trying to tell you the truth.

Did I mention the ISIS terrorists? They’ve come across the border and are going to hit soft targets all across the Southwest. They’ve set up camp a few miles outside of El Paso.

That includes a Mexican army officer and Mexican federal police inspector. Not sure what they’re doing there, but probably nothing good. That’s why the Special Forces guys are here, get it? To wipe out ISIS and impose martial law. So now you know, whaddya say we get back to the party and grab another beer?

It’s true that the paranoid world-view of right-wing militia types has remarkable stamina. But that’s not news.

What is news is that there seem to be enough of them in Texas to influence the governor of the state to react — some might use the word pander — to them.

That started Monday when a public briefing by the Army in Bastrop County, which is just east of Austin, got raucous. The poor U.S. Army colonel probably just thought he was going to give a regular briefing, but instead 200 patriots shouted him down, told him he was a liar and grilled him about the imminent federal takeover of Texas and subsequent imposition of martial law.

“We just want to make sure our guys are trained. We want to hone our skills,” Lt. Col. Mark Listoria tried to explain in vain.

One wonders what Listoria was thinking to himself as he walked to his car after two hours of his life he’ll never get back. God bless Texas? Maybe not.

The next day Gov. Abbott decided he had to take action. He announced that he was going to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm from start to finish.

Read the rest here. And weep for our species as I do. But be forewarned: stay out of the comments section. It will make you want to bang your head on a wall until it’s bloody.

Obama Absolutely Kills It

I may not agree with his policies one-hundred percent of the time, but I have to hand it to our President—he has maintained a great sense of humor in the face of all the hate thrown his way, as evidenced last night at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

For Posterity

With our society’s increasing reliance on digital storage, it occurred to me the other day that all the sounds and images we’re amassing and storing will—in all likelihood—be irrevocably lost to future generations because of the unstoppable pace of technological change that’s barreling down upon us. Not even the NSA itself will have access to the petabytes of data they’re amassing in fifty years unless it’s constantly refreshed and translated to the latest formats. And I seriously doubt anyone’s got time for that.

The ancients knew what they were doing. Stone tablets—barring their outright destruction—last for millennia. Paper can last for centuries if properly curated. Digital media…not so much. If “bit rot” alone doesn’t rob our descendants of our history, the mere fact that all the formats currently in use will no doubt be obsolete and unreadable in less than the span of a human lifetime.

This is already a becoming a problem. Have you ever tired to open a document created in the original version of WordPerfect? (Is WordPerfect even still a thing?) Yeah, a basic text editor can still pull out the important information, but the time required to remove the machine code and reformat that information into its original form is horrendous. I ran into this recently while trying to retrieve the Journals I’d written in the late 80s and early 90s.

Don’t even get me started on image formats or anything done in old desktop publishing programs. Anyone remember Ventura Publisher? Just try to open one of those documents. Good luck.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that in our rush to digitize the world and the ease it’s provided in recording the minutiae of our lives (anyone remember the limit of being able to record only 12, 24, or 36 images at a time on film?) we’re ultimately in danger of losing it altogether.

“Frat Brothers”

Um, yeah. That wasn’t the first thought I had when I stumbled across these two on a popular home improvement show…buying a home together.

Property Brothers: Battle of the Chest Hair

I especially like the matching white plunging v-neck t-shirts…