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This Is The Demolition Man Future

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Demolition Man/Warner Bros.

I am convinced we are now living in San Angeles, the setting of the 1993 science-fiction action film, Demolition Man. The movie, starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, detailed the culture shock suffered by a time-displaced cop (Stallone) forced to exist in a world where all physical contact—even the merest touch—is forbidden. In the film, a natural catastrophe spurred humanity to alter its rules of personal behavior and ban personal contact. Those aspects of the film somewhat correspond to our reality in that a virus, a thing as natural as the tragic event stated in Demolition Man, is responsible for changing the rules of our society for the worse. Continue reading “This Is The Demolition Man Future”

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The Hatchet Woman

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Young Carry Nation
(Public domain photo.)

She called herself Carry A. Nation, and she was on a mission from God. Armed with a hatchet and powered by her dogmatic religious beliefs, the Kentucky native became the terror of bars, bar patrons, and consumers of alcohol in general. From 1894 through her death in 1911, the nearly six-foot-tall Carry Nation championed the anti-alcohol temperance movement, women’s rights, and the protection of wives abused by alcoholic spouses. Continue reading “The Hatchet Woman”

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The Pandemic Must Not Be Y2K Part Two!

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Though coronavirus is here in 2020, we can learn much from a crisis that happened in 1999. In that year, fear was everywhere for it, the great and unstoppable thing of doom, was coming. It was prophesized by seers and spoken of in ancient texts. It was bringing untold horror. It was bringing death. It was going to be the end of modern civilization. It, the dreaded thing on a march for destruction, was the year 2000, also known as “Y2K.”

Over time, various theories arose regarding the way humanity could meet its end, with divine wrath, rampant climate change, unchecked disease, celestial impacts, and nuclear armageddon standing as just some of the doomsday scenarios presented. However, in the year 1999, the fear was based on the predicted global failure of technology due to shortsighted computer programming practices of the past. Continue reading “The Pandemic Must Not Be Y2K Part Two!”

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Tales of Enterprise

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Photo by Daniel Xavier on Pexels.com

Space: the final fron— WHOOPS! That line refers to a very different Enterprise from the ones I’m presenting here! Instead of the fictional Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Doctor McCoy, I offer the true stories of Captain Kurt Carlsen of the Flying Enterprise, and Chief Officer Leslie Sabel and Assistant Boatswain Mark Stanley of the Herald of Free Enterprise. Of the three men, one reached levels of bravery worthy of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, while the other two behaved in less than exemplary fashion. Though the actions of these men are decades past, the ways in which they performed their duties continue to serve as lessons for us all. Continue reading “Tales of Enterprise”

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Fearless Women

Strong woman.

On my mind today are Harvey Weinstein and the women he offended. Found guilty of some (but not all) of the charges he faced, Mr. Weinstein is now the face of unbridled male supremacy and the suffering women are often forced to endure at their hands. His name alone now represents every obstacle women must often surmount in order to be competitive in today’s society, and as I looked upon him as he half-walked/half-waddled into court every day behind a walker, my thoughts were of the many women who accused him and of the little girl who represents women’s struggle for respect.

Continue reading “Fearless Women”

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That Sinking Feeling (Redux)

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On my mind today is a story you probably know something about even though you may not know the strange tale behind it. To begin, a large, “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg while crossing the icy Atlantic; the hull was pierced, water flooded in unchecked, the ship sank, and thousands of people suffered a cold, watery fate. So, do you think you know this story? Think again.

Most people alive today don’t know that this particular tale is not only the story of the RMS Titanic, but the much earlier story of the Titan, a fictional vessel created by Morgan Robertson and told of in his 1898 tale of disaster-at-sea, Futility. Amazingly, what was originally a fictional tale of human nature, water, and death became a thing of terrible reality when the RMS Titanic famously disappeared beneath frigid Atlantic waves on the night of April 14, 1912. Later that same year, avarice overruled decency and Robertson’s Futility was renamed The Wreck of the Titan in an attempt to capitalize on the morbid popularity of all things Titanic.

Continue reading “That Sinking Feeling (Redux)”

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Jack Rabbit Slim’s

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Let’s have some fun today! Here’s a New York City tale with a Quentin Tarantino twist. 
In Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” characters Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) visit a restaurant called “Jack Rabbit Slim’s.” The restaurant, as seen in the movie, was a wonderland of neon and a hodgepodge of 1950s and 1960s iconography, complete with a wait staff performing their duties in character as celebrities of the time (James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Ed Sullivan, and several others). Continue reading “Jack Rabbit Slim’s”

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Mass Retreat

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Hello, everyone. My last article, Transit Trouble, featured the story of a young woman on a subway train whose attempt to remove herself from personal contact with others went wrong in the worst possible way. Upon further reflection, I now realize that her behavior is not a deviation from today’s norm, but an embodiment of it. Our society is now one where all others are shunned, and that sad fact is blatantly obvious on New York City’s mass transit systems.

In the years before the popularization of wearable technology, buses and subways were often impromptu forums where commuters often braved speaking briefly with one other. However, it is clear the rule of today for transit riders is now one of going to great lengths to avoid and ignore others. That is truly a pity as the city’s often maddening mass transit systems are actually great equalizers in our society. Continue reading “Mass Retreat”

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Transit Trouble

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Photo by Life of Wu on Pexels.com

Notice:
This article has descriptions some may find upsetting.
Reader discretion is advised.


Like many New York City residents who ride the city’s subway, I brave the filth, rats, noise, bed bugs, and numerous leaks of questionable origin within the system. If you live here, then there is no escaping the vast network of underground trains and the often-disgusting elements within it. However, despite my long-time experience and relative comfort with the many deficiencies of the subway, one strange trip made me fear for my life.

I boarded a train heading north from Brooklyn and took note of a homeless man sitting toward the back of the car. The derelict had matted brown hair and he gave off the stomach-turning odor of unwashed flesh, stale urine, and feces. His stinking presence caused many people near me to quietly thank God for the subway car’s robust ventilation system even as others gagged or held their noses in disgust before fleeing to another car at the earliest opportunity.

At first, the vagrant chose to inhabit a rearward-facing pair of seats of the kind that extends into the aisle and has another pair of seats directly behind. He had the last one-third of the subway car all to himself as everyone else wisely stayed away. However, as the train progressed and new passengers boarded, riders would rush to the empty seats near the reeking horror only for his foul smell to assault their noses and send them fleeing to the crowded front of the car. This happened repeatedly as the Culver Line train moved out of Brooklyn and into Manhattan, but then came the Second Avenue station and the young, blond man who lit the fuse. Continue reading “Transit Trouble”