Thoughts on Serial Killers…

so, i’m slowly working my way through Harold Schechter’s “The Serial Killer Files” and finding out that some of the “conventional wisdom”, especially as portrayed in television and films, doesn’t hold up under examination of the evidence.
“Most serial killers are white males”… well, in the U.S., maybe – face it, the socioeconomic and family factors that help produce psychopaths are endemic in the black population of the U.S.
“But there aren’t that many black serial killers!”
A question I asked myself and answered, courtesy of what I’m learning:
“Who do black serial killers kill?”
“Who cares, as long as their victims aren’t white.”
yeah, serial killers tend to stay in their own racial groups (except when they don’t) but overall, that’s accurate. but who really cares, in society at large, if another ten or twenty or fifty or a hundred blacks on the bottom rungs of the economic and social ladder go missing? who’ll notice? what news media will report it? it’s an undeniable truth of white privilege that crimes against white are investigated much more thoroughly than in any other racial group, crimes against the wealthy draw much more attention, so as long as the killers are even semi-smart, they have a pool of victims they can hunt in at will, and society-wide, no one important is going to take much notice.
for that matter, look at the killings in Juarez, Mexico… who really cares if poor factory-working women are slaughtered? yeah, it gets some press – and every time it draws an uncomfortable amount of attention, the police put up another sacrificial suspect and claim the case is closed.
and the killings just keep going on… not even their own police care enough to pay the problem more than lip service.

and that answer keeps popping up in my head…
“Who cares, as long as their victims aren’t white.”

Listening to: the dogs playing with each other
Mood: a little too dark for this close to bedtime

A-Kon Is Drawing Closer…

20,000+ people… g’ddamn, that’s a lot of folks.
I’m thinking that in order for us to get together with anyone, the short time we’re in town, it’s going to be cell-phone-bingo and setting things up in advance as to where we’ll be or somesuch. I may just put out a general message on WasteBook and see how wants to link up at some point…

watching the PBS documentary series “The Conquistadors” – still playing with the idea of writing an alien invasion piece where all of Earth is treated exactly as we treated the Native Americans. it won’t have a happy ending.

May have found “Saying Your Goodbyes” a home – a game company is starting to publish fiction, and that story does have a strong gaming tie-in. We’ll see…

working on manually archiving my LJ posts… from 2002 on… damn it’s boring… i foresee a LOT of documentary watching while i grind on this project (and yes, i’ve looked at archiving programs and can’t get any of them to work right)

Listening to: some inane damn program on HGTV in the background
Mood: sleepy

Courtesy of an old friend…

Listening to Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle’s soundtrack to “One From The Heart”… never seen the film, not sure if I ever want to (it might not be anywhere near as good as the music), but the soundtrack is pure joy to listen to. To me, it’s always been like listening to a piano-bar-opera, sad and sweet and funny and tragic.

I’m just a scarecrow without you
Baby, please don’t disappear
I beg your pardon, dear

I got a bottle for a trumpet
And a hatbox for a drum
And I beg your pardon, dear

I got upset, I lost my head
I didn’t mean the things I said
You are the landscape of my dreams
Darling, I beg your pardon

 – “I Beg Your Pardon”, Tom Waits

Just another soundtrack I owe Tommie Dunnam a lifetime of thanks for introducing me to.

Listening to: Little Boy Blue – Tom Waits
Mood: wistful

Good Morning, One and All…

So, it was a long, but overall fruitful, Work-In-Progress meeting… about four hours long, so my nap time was pretty much eaten away. Worth it, however, as several very good points were raised about the story I’m workshopping. Rie came over 5-ish and we talked – okay, she spoke coherent English, I spoke fluid Zombie – but we managed to bridge the communication barrier. Lovely supper of sausages for ‘hot dogs’, both regular and jalapeno (mmm, jalapeno) and watched “Watchmen – Director’s Cut” as Rie hadn’t seen it and Dorris and I hadn’t gotten around to watching the BluRay copy Lee got me a while back.
Then Jim went to bed, after the apparently-mandatory-meander-about-like-a-senile-bastard period, which lasts about half-to-three-quarters of an hour. Now, as of 4:30, after five hours of sleep, Jim is awake again. Don’t you wish Jim would quit speaking of himself in the third person? Jim wishes he would.
Got a pot of de-caf chirping at me… ah, life is better now.
I sometimes wonder about the effect one of my medications has on me – I lie in bed, completely coherent, not wanting to get up, ideas flooding my brain. Once I’m up though, my mind gets foggy and I can pretty much kiss all those nice, intelligible ideas I had ‘good-bye’. Odd… why should being upright make such a difference. (And yes, I’ve been altered enough times over the course of my life to know the difference between “thinking I’m sober/coherent” and “sober/coherent”… vast difference.)
More later…
Y’know, someday I need to just sit down and have a Zack Snyder fest – “Dawn of the Dead”, “300”, “Watchmen” and “Sucker Punch”…

Listening to: Requiem K626 – W.A. Mozart
Mood: brain-fogged and bleary-eyed – but better than yesterday

It was another one of ‘those’ nights…

Hello, my name is Jim and I’m going to be pretty much a brain-dead zombie today.
:: Hi Jim! ::
Had a hell of a time getting to sleep last night – pissed-off back (greater love hath few men than to run a character from 1st to 15th level in a couple of hours just so he can play online with his nephew) and reasonably-awake mind – and was up far too early this morning… so, Work-in-Progress on about four hours of sleep. Then it’s supposedly gaming with me GMing, but that’s questionable… it may be “let the players watch a movie or play ‘Munchkin’ while Jim naps – GM later”. Shouldn’t be too much of a hardship for them, however – it’s not like we don’t have a metric fuckton of movies and at least six different flavors of “Munchkin”, not to mention lots of other fun games.
And there will be Lee’s smoked sausage, hot dog makin’s, and oven-baked fries, so life will be good on that front.

Listening to: “Master and Commander” score – Christopher Gordon
Mood: Overall okay, for all that I’m just this side of brain-dead

Dreams… Damn Odd Dreams

So I dreamed I was going in for heart surgery of some kind, and that was damned disturbing, but not ‘nightmare’ level nasty, and my wife and friends and family were trying to convince me that the surgeon was an alcoholic, trying to get me to cancel the surgery, trying to get me to demand another surgeon, crying and screaming at my intransigence. That didn’t make ‘nightmare’ either. Then I met the surgeon, and they were all right – he was a drunk I wouldn’t have trusted to operate on my worst enemy – that was nightmarish. But then I accepted that. He was a drunk, I’d be goddamned lucky to live through the procedure, when I went under I was likely never to wake up again… and that was back down to damned disturbing again – not ‘okay’ by any stretch of the imagination, but que sera, sera, an alcoholic surgeon was likely to puke into my open chest cavity…
I woke to go to the bathroom as I was dreaming they were sedating me.
It was a ‘lovely’ night…

Listening to: my wife’s morning routine
Mood: sleepy and about to go do something about that

Revisiting an Old Friend

Just got through listening to all four of Bill Hicks’ “studio” albums and I’m amazed again at the wide divide between Bill when he ‘on’ and Bill when he wasn’t… I can admire his ire and anger, his rages at the audiences that hadn’t the faintest clue what he was getting at, while at the same time bemoaning the energy he wasted on them. He only had so many days, so much energy, and it seems to me that a lot of that time, a lot of that life force was wasted railing against those who’d never get him, never get it.

I hear him raging against Bush Sr. and it’s like a practice session for the routines he would’ve done for Dubya… same material, only much more vehement – had he lived so long. I can imagine his outrage at the state we find the world in today and I miss him. Never knew him, never heard of him until after he was dead, but I miss him and wish there were some way to go back and change things, keep him with us.

Then I think about Hunter Thompson and the chicken-shit cowardly way he took himself out of the game… he’d dug himself into the cult of personality that was feeding his self-destructive urges – he could have dug himself out if he’d wanted to. We need him… but in the end, to paraphrase something a friend once wrote, “you couldn’t hang with the gang, so thank you for playing.” It saddens me, it disgusts me, it pisses me off.

From time to time I think we all feel that clock ticking, wonder if what we’ve spent our time on has been worth it in any long-term sense. No real way to know, it’s not like we’ll be around fifty years, a hundred years, two hundred years to find out. But I believe that if we haven’t made some good and positive impression on the lives of our fellow humans while we’re here, then we’ve got no shot at that long-term meaningfulness at all.

Listening to: Requiem for a Dream score – Clint Mansell
Mood: Overall, pretty damn good considering…

The State of the Jim

Okay, for those of you who aren’t following me on FaceBook
FaceBook – Crack For Bloggers
(and if you aren’t, well, all you’re really missing is my usual drivel, links to things I find intriguing/outrageous and a series of mostly coffee-related haiku), here’s the quick recap:

I’ve been inhaling documentaries (streamed from Netflix), on anything and everything, while playing Gemcraft: Labyrinth (no, I won’t provide a link, I will not be an enabler in furthering addiction to that form of electronic crack).

I’m in the final stages (please dear God I hope) of getting “On A Road Going Nowhere” ready for self-publication, I’ve started prepping “First Star I See Tonight” for self-publication, I’m arguing with a bunch of other stories, and hope someday to perhaps get the next chapter of my Soap Opera From Hell posted at Storiesonline.
That Place Where My Erotica Is Posted…

I’m mentally preparing myself for A-Kon June 10-12 where “The Ladies of Trade Town” (an anthology I’m published in) is getting a Grand Launch (20,000 fans in a relatively enclosed space… I will require a modicum of self-medication), including a ‘Meet the Authors’ panel, a mass autograph session and a gala launch party.
A-Kon… my old friend
The Ladies of Trade Town

At present my Kindle and my bedside table are allowing me to fully engage in my “Reading way too many damn books at one time fetish” A partial list:
The Serial Killer Files – Harold Schechter
Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams – Nick Tosches
The Postman – David Brin
Pride and Prostitutes – Amanda Gannon & Paul D. Batteiger
Jennifer Government – Max Barry
Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History – David Aaronovitch
The Right Stuff – Tom Wolfe
Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews – James Carroll
The Civil War: A Narrative – Shelby Foote
Brewing Fine Fiction – ed. Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff & Pati Nagle
Ozma of Oz – L. Frank Baum
On the Grid – Scott Huler
Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury
Hamlet’s Hit Points – Robin D. Laws

“Your Highness” in theaters – okay, I’ve never played in a D&D group with even a tenth as many dick jokes, as many dope jokes or characters as incompetent as Thaddeus, but otherwise, yeah, pretty much “Dungeons & Dragons: The Movie”. There’s some real creativity in this film, as well as a budget for special effects – and alas it’s probably going to be better than the upcoming remake of “Conan”. We enjoyed it, we laughed a lot, we think other gamers will as well.

A shout out to “Justified” on FX – yeah, it’s the show that makes me ‘squee’ – if I can’t watch Timothy Olyphant as the Grim Servant of Death, Seth Bullock, in “Deadwood”, I’ll gladly watch him as the not-quite-so-Grim Servant of Death, Raylan Givens. The continuing character arc of Boyd Crowder (played brilliantly by Walton Goggins) is a beautiful example of a man whose past will not let him go.

Four days till the premiere of “A Game of Thrones” on HBO… I am withholding any squee’s until I’m watching it – otherwise my wife would hit me to make me shut up. (Yes, my squee’s are as annoying as any you’ve ever heard).

Y’know, sometimes a change is what’s needed…

I’m been a fan of LiveJournal for a lot of years, I have mirror accounts at Dreamwidth and InsaneJournal… and I don’t post much anymore.
It’s all because of FaceBook.
Now, please understand, I hate FB only slightly less than I hate MySpace, and I hate MyWaste a lot, but FB’s just so goddamn easy! In my disgust with FB, I even invested in Diaspora only to find they’d created a more secure FB clone instead of something new and different. (That’s the only Kickstarter project I’d really like my money back on.)
So I’ve been posting my links and little rants and screeds on FB and my LiveJournal account, as well as its mirrors, have been languishing, unloved and abandoned.
Let’s try this here fancy blogspot thang.
Like its older predecessors, it’ll contain whatever the hell I feel like writing about, will almost certainly contain profanity, and will often wave at the boundaries of polite discourse as I go speeding by them.