Archive for June, 2012

AUSSIES TAKE DEFENDING THEIR RIGHTS TOO FAR!

Posted in Australia, Night to Dawn author, set in Australia, Writer with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN
RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE'S RIGHTS WHEN ON THE BEACH

The surf and the sun are important summer treats for Australians. These things can be shared if no one is selfish or openly sexist.

Selfish, intolerant Muslin youth were responsible for the Cronulla Riot!

Some years ago, a peaceful protest against the mistreatment of bikini clad women on beaches at Cronulla, south of Sydney  in Australia went terribly wrong. What most of the people who turned up at the protest wanted was something done about the Muslim youth who were terrorizing women and generally causing trouble. No one really thought the media would understand a peaceful protest and that may have been one cause for the violence that erupted. It was felt that political correctness in the media at the time meant that they would or simply could not be listened to no matter how well they spoke up against the injustice that had so stirred them.

What’s more, a Muslim youth had recently punched a lifeguard directly after that lifeguard had saved a Muslim woman from drowning. To strike a lifeguard was bad enough but to strike a lifeguard after he had done his noble  duty was really too much.

Many people from all over the world had come to settle in New South Wales, Australia. All save this small group of Muslim youth had gone along with the code of the beach. So what is the code? Stated simply,  if you don’t like seeing women in bikinis or one piece bathing suits then don’t go to the beach. If in summer you are offended by the sight of women wearing hot pants, mini-skirts or tank tops in and around our beach areas then please keep it to yourself or, better yet, go live in some other country. Oh, and our lifeguards, male and female, are a brave and selfless lot and deserve our collective respect for keeping us safe. If you want to insult regular Aussies and do a good job of it either burn our flag or hit someone who has dedicated his or her life to helping others. Neither act, incidentally, will  make you very popular.

Keeping the peace which may require being thoughtful and even respectful of the Australian culture doesn’t seem like such a heavy price to pay for glorious surf and sun, now does it? Of course if this sort of thing is really too much a burden for you then you are not really an Australian or a person an Australian would care to associate with and, as far as I am concerned, you don’t belong in Australia.

In the Cronulla riot, the innocent as well as the guilty were hurt. This was unfortunate. It should be noted here that not all Muslims that visited Cronulla that day, and indeed that year, or any other year for that matter, were a problem. There were , that day, Muslim families acting quite responsibly, seeking to neither attack nor in any way offend anyone. Sometimes just a hand full of misguided youth taught to be intolerant can spoil good times for everyone.

Nowadays, the Cronulla riot is put forward as an example of Aussie racism and intolerance when, in truth, it was the sexism and racism of a small group of Muslim youth that should be held accountable for what had happened. People went vigilante when it became obvious that the law, under political correctness guidelines, was helpless to act against outsiders abusing women on the beach. The riot was wrong but so was the mistreatment of women that has preceded it as well as the punch given out to the lifeguard.

  So what has been learned from this riot? Probably nothing if political correctness means that not all the facts are today considered and the true instigators are rapidly being whitewashed out of this minor episode in the collective history of New South Wales, Australia.

In my novel, Desk Job, I touch upon the lack of merit of political correctness as it has operated in Australia for some years now.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/

DESK JOB BLURB

Posted in Australia, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, set in Australia, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN

BOOMERANG OF FIRE!

Lewis Carroll’s Alice thought Wonderland was strange. Sarah Hollingsworth knew her adventures in Office-land were twisted and downright bizarre. The office of the 1990s was a hunting ground where the unprotected were bagged and disposed of. The trick was not to be one of them. Hawks flew high, mules slogged away on their computers and praying mantises searched for prey. Butterflies and moths danced in the neon light. And the old caterpillar looked on passively to various unfolding dramas. Meanwhile mall rats and lika-lika birds, growing up in this decade, fervently hoped that everything about the office would become more civilized by the time they had to get a DESK JOB. Whether or not the office has really changed much since the 1990s I will leave to you, dear reader, to decide.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/

BIG BROTHER?! AGAIN! OH! BROTHER! OH! BOTHER!

Posted in Barbara Custer, dark fiction writer, desk job, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lied to and tricked via television, Lyn McConchie's friend, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, rip off merchants, scam artists, set in Australia, USA, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN
BIG BROTHER WATCHING

YOU WATCHING BIG BROTHER AND BIG BROTHER WATCHING YOU. ALL POLITICALLY CORRECT!

In Australia Big Brother is due to return to television. The show that trivialized George Orwell’s warning to the future is back. Games will be played during the daylight hours in some house setting and gross things will no doubt happen at night. In any event, George Orwell’s 1984 warning to the future, our present, will be distorted once more and thus reduced.

Contestants in search of a brain will get on their soap boxes to talk a lot of deep and meaningful rubbish about current affairs they don’t understand and there will be tears on cue. The brain washing of a generation of young people will be sickeningly revealed. There will be propaganda.

What’s more, those who don’t want to watch the show will not be able to escape this fate except by turning off the screen all together and grabbing a book to read. Yes, during commercial time for any and every other show you will be pelted with reminders that Big Brother is on and you need to either support or evict via phone this loony or that loony. (And you will no doubt be expected to pay a lot for making these calls.) Wait! It gets even worse! Big Brother of old had a nasty habit of running overtime. Thus you are sitting there waiting for the show you want to watch to finally come on and, in the meantime, you have to put up with 10, 15, even 30 minutes of Big Brother you hadn’t bargained on watching at all. AAAAARRRGGHHH!

Back in 1948 George Orwell wrote 1984. He warned against being part of a government that spied continuously on its citizens without just cause and tended also to promote war over peace, hate over love. Make a man feel bad about having any affection even for his own wife then put him in a uniform and send him out somewhere to do some killing. Use religion, any religion, to beat any sense of real decency out of him. Also do the same to her. This is how warrior races are made and are perpetuated. Then, to make sure it all sticks, have words that could do future harm to this set up outlawed for everyone’s own good. Oh, and to top it all off, re-write history continuously to continually suit the government.

1984 was first published in 1949. It would have been published earlier save that the publisher wanted to be very sure that nothing in it could be thought to support Communism in any way. In his early years Orwell did have Communist leanings but these were knocked out of him when he learned how Stalin had treated his own people in the 1930s.

To George Orwell our best defense against a nightmare state are our own memories, histories, sense of right and wrong, and our free flowing, warts and all, language.

From the early 1990s, efforts were made to introduce political correctness where academics and politicians thought it would do the most good. Born out of a desire to do right, political correctness has mostly shown, at least in Australia, that Hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

Through political correctness, some workplace personnel became protected species while others were given little protection at all from anything. The result was a double standard that had not previously existed. What’s more, the language was tamed making it even harder for some individuals to cry out against injustice. And there was monitoring of behavior for some but not for others.

Today, in many offices, political correctness is merely a sick joke from the  recent past. It is still there, however, waiting to be relaunched with the old vigor.

There was talk in the news in August of 2012 of government initiatives in Australia to reinvent political correctness. It would, of course, go under another name as yet to be decided or no name at all but still be out there attacking the rights of some individuals and supposedly protecting the rights of other individuals. According to the news report a quarter of the the country’s population would immediately be better off. This of course means to me that three quarters of the country’s population would no doubt be forced in the end to crawl rather than walk, to listen rather than vent their own views, and to generally be second class citizens in their own country.

This initiative has come about in a similar way to the old political correctness. It is going to be pushed by academics, politicians, groups likely to benefit from such actions, and brain-washed school kids venturing forth to become brain-washed college and university students. The truly sad thing is that many of the kids that will find themselves as part of this initiative if it really does get off the ground will unwittingly be selling their collective future to hostile interests without even knowing it. By the time they figure it out it will be too late. It appears to be an attack or series of attacks against racism in Australia but it comes with the dangerous assumption that only certain types can be racist and that one quarter of the present population are victims or are to be victims if something isn’t done.

The truth is that everyone can be a racist or act in a racist manner. If this is not recognized then the folly that was and to some extent still is political correctness will definitely make a return though most definitely, in some quarters, in action rather than name.  There is likely to be the return of the ‘protected species’ that can do no harm and will not be called upon to account for their actions when they do in  fact do harm. Television is already geared up to promote and apply this new initiative.

In my novel, Desk Job, I deal with political correctness and how it can destroy lives. How close to reality my fictional office is for the mid-1990s and for now I will leave up to the reader to decide.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/

THE CAT’S MEOW! From Egypt to England to an Australian DESK JOB

Posted in art, dark fiction writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, Night to Dawn author, Writer with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN

SMILEY CAT

The Cat’s Meow! The Cat’s whiskers! The Cat’s pajamas! These are good British expressions that tend to put a smile on the dial of certain readers and, at the same time, conjure up pleasant if somewhat unusual images.

The there’s the childhood story of the kitten who lost his mitten that no doubt came out of some golden book edition. Nowadays, thanks to the Americans, the puss in boots is a rather dashing expert with the foil. In the hit television show The Big Bang Theory we have a song about a soft kitty who is warm. In the hit television show The Simpsons we have cats going through their nine lives rather quickly.

A cat once wanted to visit the Queen of England while yet another fur ball was happy to curl up on a mat near the fireplace.

In the USA there was a cartoon tom by the name of Sylvester who, on numerous occasions, mistook a kangaroo for an extraordinarily large bouncing mouse and there have been quite a few American felines, in fiction and real life, who have inherited great fortunes.

Some years ago I was asked to write some stories for an anthology titled: Cats Do it Better. One of the stories I wrote for this American book dealt with a cat that was an old salt and had the run of the ship he was on. Why was the cat an old salt? Well, many a sailing vessel in the old days did have a cat on board as a mascot. It wasn’t just a matter of companionship for the crew. A cat had a practical use. If you want to keep mice and rats out of the scullery and thus out of the sailor’s food they are the natural and also the most economical way of doing so. In fact, our long standing relationship with felines probably began when it was discovered that they could be of use in protecting the harvest.

In ancient Egypt, no doubt because of the importance of the grain, cats were at one time worshiped. No grain, no bread and the end result of that, of course, is starvation. Hence a small, usually furry, creature that can keep the vermin at bay and thus keep the grain safe has to be considered. at the very least, as asset worth keeping around. I say here usually furry because there is a hairless type of Egyptian cat. The hairless Egyptian, in fact, was in one of the Austin Powers movies as a regular cat who had supposedly lost his fur after being frozen then thawed out. In any event, the hairless Egyptian is ideal for the cat lover who happens to be allergic to cat hair.

Black cats for some time have been associated with witches and witchcraft. The idea that a black cat crossing one’s path will bring trouble is a very old superstition. The word catastrophe has cat in it.

Even so, a lot of nice things over the years have been written about cats and writers, such as New Zealand novelist and researcher Lyn McConchie, have been responsible. Her cat Thunder is amazing but, then again, many of the other animals on her farm are most unusual as her book Farming Daze would tend to point out.

Of late I have been examining the two Alice books by 19th Century British writer Lewis Carroll. They are not without cats. The best noted cat in them, of course, hails from Cheshire. Among other things, he has a great big grin and a marvelous disappearing act. He is also rather mysterious and cheeky. Naturally, when I decided to write my salute to Carroll a Cheshire like cat or two was definitely called for. I would not want readers to feel they were short changed in any way. Besides, my niece, Aila, has a new pet cat and that was also a pretty good reason to sneak at least one fur ball into the book.

In my novel, Desk Job, There are four felines that fit the bill. Two have fur coats and the other two seem to get along quite nicely without them even though neither happens to be Egyptian. In any event, a certain fictional office in Sydney, Australia would not be complete without at least one tail to balance out the overall tale.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/

DESK JOB BY ROD MARSDEN

Posted in dark fiction writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Writer with tags , , , on June 23, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN
COVER TO DESK JOB BY ROD MARSDEN

DESK JOB BY ROD MARSDEN

Desk Job (excerpt from pages 11 and 12)

 

When she reached the bottom of the slope, she came across two hundred mules tethered to two hundred desks. They were facing two hundred computers. Every once in a while they moved keys on the keypads with their snouts. She asked a stout looking male mule what he was doing. “Navigating for my hawk!” snorted the male mule. “It’s a living!”

“Are all you mules navigating for hawks?” asked Sarah.

“Yes!” snorted the male mule. “My hawk has a dozen navigators!”

“Careful!” sniffed a nearby female mule. “They may hear you!”

“Oh dear!” snorted the male mule.

Among the mules there were a dozen human sized praying mantises. They were cracking whips with their spiked forelegs and reading out loud from a book of rules.

“If I am seen talking to you, Human beast,” said the male mule Sarah had been chatting with, “they will punish me! If they ask you, could you please tell them that you talked to me first!?”

“Why?” asked Sarah.

“We’re not supposed to talk unless spoken to first!” he told her. “It’s one of the rules!”

“I shouldn’t have spoken to my mule friend!” confided the female mule who had spoken. “I shouldn’t be talking to you!”

“Are there many rules?” asked Sarah.

“Lots!” said the male mule. “I’d best get on with my navigating!”

“Goodbye,” Sarah told the mules as she began to walk away. “Good luck with your navigating.”

Then, from the other side of the hill, came the roar of a dozen low flying World War Two Japanese Zeros. They were being chased by a dozen American Hellcat fighter planes. The Hellcats were hot on the tails of the Zeros and managed to shoot down two before the remaining planes disappeared into the distance. One Zero did drop a bomb before going away. It exploded a short distance from the mules.

     This has nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, thought Sarah. Hellcats didn’t come into that war until much later. Even so, these Hellcats are like dark mules with wings and the Zeros are like great big butterflies with bombs and a work ethic strange for butterflies.

Out of the bomb dust a figure stirred. What was it? The sky was darkening and a savage wind was stirring. It hammered at the desks of the mules and threatened to drive the hawks from the heavens. Then a flash of lightning revealed the presence in the bomb dust of an old Asian witch with her face painted white and her lips decorated a cherry red. She had on a white flowing gown that moved swiftly. It moved as rapidly as her black fluid hair. 12 She ventured closer to the mules. As she got nearer to them the intensity of the wind increased.

A desk was overturned in the ensuing gale, freeing a mule from his tether. The mule then kicked the witch, sending her into a dozen computers. Sparks flew as the witch, choking to death from a crushed windpipe breathed her last.

“God help us!” cried the male mule that was closest to the dead witch. “God help the one responsible!”

The mule who had kicked the witch, who also happened to be a male, cried out: “No! I didn’t want to do it! I didn’t mean to do it!”

“She was bad,” said Sarah.

“Was she really?” questioned one of the praying mantises. “Or was she simply doing what one would expect a wind witch to do?”

“A wind witch?” questioned Sarah.

“Yes,” hissed the praying mantis in Sarah’s face. “Would you deny a wind witch her ancestry? Would you deny a wind witch her culture? Would you do these things for the sake of some puny computer slave? Well! Would you, my dear, would you?!”

“I don’t know!” cried Sarah in confusion as the wind faded to nothing and hideous insect like orbs bored into her eyes.

“I don’t know!” Sarah screamed after a moment of heavy silence as the air became still, the fog came in and so did the static.

 http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/