One very useful thing to know about depression

Through the month of September 2017 I fought a small scale conflict, against an army of negative thoughts and emotions that had claimed the territory of my mind. I recognised this mental state well. It was what we commonly call depression. To win this fight, I needed strategies. I went back and reviewed the bestContinue reading “One very useful thing to know about depression”

Five questions the new Blade Runner must answer

Any Blade Runner fan who doesn’t have mixed feelings about the Blade Runner 2049 sequel probably isn’t much of a fan. Hollywood sequels have a bad track record of course. And while the presence of Harrison Ford might encourage some to hope for a sequel as mighty as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many ofContinue reading “Five questions the new Blade Runner must answer”

Tolkien’s myths are a political fantasy

In a world built on myth, we can’t ignore the reactionary politics at the heart of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. What is the Rhetoric of Story? It’s a double-edged magical sword, being a fan of JRR Tolkien. On one hand we’ve had the joy of watching Lord of the Rings go from cult success to, arguably,Continue reading “Tolkien’s myths are a political fantasy”

The principle of creative opposition

I’m reading Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had reading a Pynchon novel. And I think I know why. Creative. Opposition. Pynchon is an ideas man. High-concept, conspiracy theorist, humanity as an organic mishap in a grinding clockwork universe kind of ideas. Inherent Vice is a small scale, comedy ofContinue reading “The principle of creative opposition”

The trouble with intersectional political alliances as illustrated in Star Wars

Intersectionality is a powerful idea conveyed in an overcomplicated word. But Star Wars is a great way to understand it better. One thing I love about scifi? It provides all the best metaphors to help folks understand the fierce complexities of contemporary politics. Mid-way through the snap UK general election a lot of Harry-Potter-as-political-metaphor memesContinue reading “The trouble with intersectional political alliances as illustrated in Star Wars”

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.

A good friend needed help facing the blank page. I found this quote for him. Now I present it too you. (It’s often attributed to Goethe, but in fact the authorship is unknown.) Please share with anyone you think might love it. “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back –Continue reading “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.”

Yes, Corbyn can win. Here’s how. #GE2017

We live in strange political times. Around the world far right leaders are adopting traditionaly socialist policies to get elected. Trump promised huge public spending on infrastructure. Le Pen is promising a huge rise in social benefits. What’s going on? The bottom line is, working and middle class people in America and Europe are poorerContinue reading “Yes, Corbyn can win. Here’s how. #GE2017”

Scarlet Johansson’s star quality makes her all wrong for Ghost in the Shell

Cyberpunk’s literary roots have always  dug deep into themes of self destruction…both our terror of losing, and lust to be liberated from, our self. No comments here, but come talk to me on @damiengwalter. It’s hard for a human as universally recognised as Scarlet Johansson to pass as a nobody. But Major Motoko Kusanagi, theContinue reading “Scarlet Johansson’s star quality makes her all wrong for Ghost in the Shell”

Trump voters are socialists. They just don’t know it yet.

Trump voters. Brexit voters. The AltRight. The people who read Infowars, and Breitbart, and the Daily Mail. They’re all early stage socialists, who just haven’t figured out that’s what they are yet. Here’s why. For most of the 20th century, global capitalism was a pretty good deal. If you were a white western citizen. MostContinue reading “Trump voters are socialists. They just don’t know it yet.”

Olaf Stapledon on how science fiction defeats fascism

With fascism growing at a terrible pace today, Olaf Stapledon’s words from 1937, written at the height of the Nazi menace, hold meaning for all sci-fi fans, readers, and writers. This post could not have been written without the support of my patrons. “Perhaps the attempt to see our turbulent world against a background of starsContinue reading “Olaf Stapledon on how science fiction defeats fascism”

Viking myths made men fearless. What do our myths make us?

A myth is more than just an old story. In their day, hundreds or thouands of years ago, myths shaped reality. WOAH! That’s a big claim, right? That the Ramayana actually shaped the reality of the people who read it two thousand years ago? That’s like saying Star Wars: Rogue One is shaping our realityContinue reading “Viking myths made men fearless. What do our myths make us?”