Author Archives: Ken Carman

Inspection- Social Discourse Has Become a Very Bad Fantasy Novel

by Ken Carman

  My cousin John Clark is a writer of fantasy novels. I remember the first time, at a family reunion, he told about his latest. It seemed excellent but I realized: more than ever, fantasy is simply not my genre’.
  In fact I already knew, to a certain extent. Previous to that I was already bothered by how fantasy has been stuck in a blender with the various forms of Sci-Fi and horror on TV, in movies and books. I prefer classic Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi that challenges social norms, Sci-Fi that challenges the way we think. Once you mix in fantasy or horror, for me, it ruins the genre’.
  Maybe, as his sister Kate: another writer in the family, once suggested, I do like being in “control” too much. I’ve never thought of myself that way. It’s more I prefer linear writing, don’t care for writing when a character raises his hand and a magic sword just appears, or a character turns into a Grimggwatch, from the kingdom of Igeldiepoo where the Scwatches rule their semi-universe. Any book where I have to keep looking up “Grimggwatch” or “Swatches” bores me. I slept through a quarter of The Lord of the Rings and had tried to read The Hobbit when I was young. My brother was a fan and suggested it. So I already knew when given that as one of two options in 11th grade to choose the other book.
  Constantly flipping pages to figure out what the hell the author is talking about ruins reading for me.
  I find blood and guts spewing everywhere not “horror” at all: just gross and, again, boring. Indeed one of the most horror-filled moments for me in cinema history is when Charlie (The book was Flowers for Algernon) is in a house of mirrors and keeps coming face to face with himself before he was cured of his mental issues. Something about what’s inside us that we cannot overcome, to me, is “horror.” A zombie eating intestines is just a gross meal.
  I mean no disrespect towards writers, or the fans, of fantasy, or horror. I firmly believe books find us, and sometimes it takes time for us to adjust to some, and no one book works for, or suits, everyone. For example: I loathe romance novels of the pulp kind. You like them? Have at it. I don’t think less of you for your preferences, and I hope you won’t think less of me for mine.
  But I am beginning to think social discourse has become a very bad fantasy novel. Read more

Inspection- Could Jimmy Jones Have Been Reinvented into the Next Jesus?

  Easter has passed, the rabbit has long since rolled back the rock where they laid his bones after they made hasenpfeffer out of him, and laid his multi-colored terrorist bomb eggs for his disciple children to find. When all of them explode soon the… yolk.. will be on us.
  Humor aside, yet one more time I venture into the story of, and many past myths surrounding, Jesus. But this really isn’t about Jesus. The message is less religion than how we tell our stories, and how we accept them being told as a society by society’s most official, most sanctioned, storytellers: the media…

by Ken Carman

  Re: “Was Jimmy Jones the next Jesus?”
  No.
  OK, now go back to doing whatever you were doing.
  You still here? Nothing better to do?
  I kid, sort of, but my point here is neither to smear the historical Jesus, nor to resurrect, then un-smear, the memory of a true villain: Jimmy Jones. If anything I hope Jimmy could actually feel everything any corpse eventually must go through. For what he did, those he deceived, he certainly deserves that and more.
  No, the actual points I’m making here are about the media as it is now, the media back then and the “media” in antiquity. Read more

Inspection- Jesus in a Blender

Celebrating both holidays, this is a repeat from last December. Sometime, maybe about 33 BC, a child was born. During those 30 odd years it is told he took a fish and a loaf and turned it into many. Then about 33 years later they executed him…

by Ken Carman

  The spikes driven into his wrists and ankles were probably the most painful thing he knew anybody had felt. Is this what they went through? All the pain, all the questions: though he knew the answers, he could see life, for them, was filled with questions… filled with pain. It wasn’t as easy as anyone looking down upon their creations might think.
  For maybe there is knowing all.
  And then there is actually “knowing.”
  Having human form made all the difference.
  But he never expected what that last jab in the side would actually feel like.
  “Why have you forsaken me,” indeed.
  Finally it was “finished.”
  The story goes that he was prepared then taken to the tomb. You know the rest. Or do you?
  Since he often taught with parables let’s the expanded story much the same way…
Read more

Inspection- Judas: Another Unintended Hero?

 It’s Easter time, when I always dedicate a column or two to theological matters related to Jesus. A few weeks ago we talked about Fred Phelps as an unintended hero. Here’s another…

by Ken Carman

 Am I possessed? Evil? Damned for even considering the possibility?
 As Easter closes in like a cross slowly being dragged to Calvary, I have been pondering Judas. Could Judas have been one of the heroes of the story, intentional or not? What does Judas have to tell us, or to add to the story? Before the “betrayal” the story is mostly sans Judas. After the “betrayal” he disappears, perhaps because in storytelling if our hero is to win the day keeping the villain around is simply bad form.
 But without Judas what do we have for a story? A somewhat controversial street preacher claiming to be many things, performing miracles: not actually unusual in those days. There were a few miracle-claiming messiah wannabes. If not for Judas would there even have been a movement called Christianity? Read more

Inspection- Taking a Knife to a Stupid Gun Talking Point Fight

by Ken Carman

  My longtime readers already know I’m not much for registration of all guns, though depending on the exact nature of such I do think background checks would be wise. Considering the number of guns in private hands I think Pandora’s Box is not just already open, but been dumped all over the nation again and again. Plus, one can make a gun: prisoners do it.
 But some regulation for some guns, like we regulated machine guns: yes. Not necessarily anywhere near as much, but some? Something to consider. Read more

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