John McDaid's blog

Evil, Pure and Simple, from the Eighth Dimension (a poem)

[Listen on Bandcamp]

As writers, we were warned:
Never make villains too evil
Or no one will believe them.
After all, Hitler loved dogs
Nero was a patron of the arts
Ayn Rand once gave an orphan
An ice cream cone.
Okay, I lied about that one
But you get the point.

This is America
Everyone gets a redemption arc:
Henry Kissinger is an elder statesman
Ollie North has a talk show
Aaron Burr was...complicated.

So we had left our culture helpless,
Unvaccinated,
When there appeared a man
Right out of melodrama:
Made for television evil
Snidely Whiplash evil
Stephen King monsterclown evil.
And because our noble novels
Told us one-note evil
Did not exist
We elected him.

He will grow into the office
We said
He doesn't mean what he says
We said
Oh, no, he would never do that
We said
Right up until the moment
He stood on the Ellipse
And sent his flying monkeys
To occupy the Capitol

And everyone
Playing asides on the oboe
Was surprised.

But you know who wasn't?
Folks with pure villains:
Good and Evil
Democracy and Socialism
White and Black
They knew all along
Obama was Kenyan.
Hillary hated America.
And the deep state was run by pedophiles
With a taste
For pizza.

Sounds crazy when you say it out loud
But the power of simple stories Is that they fit inside heads
Shrunken
To the size of dank memes

So, whenever you're admonished
Not to make your villain that evil—
To walk a mile in their shoes
To remember that the jackal is a lion in their own neighborhood—
Spare a thought for
The procrustean crania
And the Faustian fustian of 4chan
And paint it black.
Go big.
Chew a little scenery.
Kick a starving kitten.
Light up your evil with targeting lasers
And nuke it from orbit.
Put a stake through the heart
Of your one-note Nosferatu
Because evil does exist
And next time
We need to see it coming.

[Written at the Jan '21 Newport MFA residency.]

Tags: 
02871, Localblogging, poetry

Aquidneck Island Emergency Preparedness Fair Nov. 9

There will be an Emergency Preparedness Fair on Saturday, Nov 9 from 9am-noon at the Gaudet Middle School in Middletown with displays and representatives from local and state agencies to help answer questions and help plan for the unexpected. There will be emergency vehicles on hand for the kids, and representatives from all three island communities (including local emergency management organizations that are always seeking volunteers!)

Click image to embiggen.


Tags: 
02871, Localblogging, RIEMA

Eighteen years

Heaven/is falling
The angels/lie on sidewalks in the rain.
The serpent/calling
Up from the lost world/buried deep within our brain.
And the saints have piled up in the streets
Their sacred blood staining the sheets
Their halos and bones have been sold
Pried loose before the bodies were cold
And the Rainbow disappears with the dawn
And there's nothing left to carry us on
And there is no salvation to be found
Now that Heaven's underground.

Darkness/descending
Unending/as the chaos runs its course.
We grind on/pretending
Nothing/left us but remorse.
And the voices that speak in our dreams
Offer comforts as cold as they seem
As faces fade off into noise
And the lost take the Hand that destroys
And there are no stories left to tell
Now that Earth inhabits Hell

Bridge
It's forever
and it's worse than it appears.
This brave new world
is just the sum of all your fears.
And each day
follows senseless on the last.
With no way
out of the demon haunted past...
(Spoken: "Dingir.Pazuzu Qatu Dingir.Ishtar")

The Heroes/are dead now
Their bodies/scattered ashes in the deep.
The Prophet/unread now
In the sound and the fury of reason's final sleep.
And all along the roads to the Dome
the dead appear to carry us home
and the angels have begun now to rise
their screaming held back in the skies
and the world is just the walls of a cave...
As we look up the sides of the grave...
And there is no salvation to be found
Now that Heaven's underground

Ahh oooh
Ahh oooh
Ahh oooh

Tags: 
02871, Localblogging, Music, 911

My WorldCon Dublin performance schedule!

WorldCon Dublin logoThe musical performance schedule for the World Science Fiction Convention Dublin2019 has been posted, and I'm delighted to have two 50-minute concerts where I'll be playing my geek-inflected folk/filk acoustic tunes.

The first is Thursday night in the cool art show performance space at Point Square:
15 Aug 2019, Thursday 16:30 - 17:20, WH2 - Performance space (Point Square Dublin)

Then on Saturday afternoon at the conference center:
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 13:45 - 14:35, Wicklow Hall 2A (Dances) (CCD)

I'm putting the finishing touches on a demo album this weekend featuring most of the music I'll be playing. Look for a link soon.

More information about Worldcon available at the main Dublin2019 web site.

Tags: 
02871, Localblogging, sf, Filk, worldcon