The Wolves of Midwinter

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Game of Thrones Review

Glancing at this book, you cannot help but summon certain expectations about this book. This book has to be "Grade A" masculine ware. There's no doubt that this book will have burly men with husky voices and an extreme lack of good moral conduct. Everything will feel as unruly as the characters within the book. They probably foolishly pilot themselves towards all things that would make them even more slovenly then we expect them to be. Also, there will be a marked absence of any depth or poetry when it comes to the character development. The main aim of the author is to compose a book that caters to bloodthirsty readers who want nothing but gratuitous violence without any real thematic intent behind it.

Antithetically, this book is not your exposition stuffed fantasy book nor is it your violent pornographic books that is geared for testosterone junkies. Initially, I was a bit peeved and wrongly put-off by the presence of exposition towards the beginning of the story. But the beginning of the book is a bewildering mess of subplots, enigmatic characters, and political intrigue. Sensory overload is the by-product of feeling imposed by the cramming of information within this very complex world. At first, it may seem the convoluted structure of the novel is sloppy and lacks any sort of grace.

But, if you patiently dare to plunge into the messiness of the beginning. You're guaranteed to be compensated with a very deep, deftly-written book that is a testament to George R.R. Martin's skills as a writer. Anytime I ponder the finesse that George R.R. Martin has with being able to maintain the innumerable plot lines he has worked into the architecture of his story: I cannot help but be both overwhelmed and stunned by the success he has with keeping these intertwined subplots stable. Normally, many fantasy writers find themselves constructing their own downfall by bringing their story to the brink of disaster. They become so petrified by their own unwieldy, pretentious tower of a story that it starts to crumble before the reader's eye. Most readers  gather the sense of a story that is facing impending doom when they find themselves becoming deeply uninterested in the jumbled words within a fantasy story. Ordinarily, its some unfamiliar anecdote that has no importance to the story. It works only to delude readers into thinking the story is complex when in reality its long-winded and shallow. 

George R.R. Martin is the fantasy  genre's reincarnation of Leo Tolstoy because both of them can adeptly write stories with large scopes and keep the reader engrossed. Certainly, with "War in Peace," and "Game of Thrones," I found myself quickly forgetting a particular character's name. Luckily, I only had to really pay close attention to the titular characters because some of the side ones had some really bizarre names that I was not going to press my brain into remembering. Therefore, aside from the adulation I have for this book's brilliance, this book is definitely a punishment for anyone, like me, who suffers from "character name amnesia." Again, when I write, I stick to simplistic names so I can remember my own characters. 

Moreover, I'm quite taken with the well-constructed female characters. Arya happens to be an aspiring warrior that wishes to break out of the mold of the subservient marriage pawn. Sansa is Arya's foil in a sense since she embodies the woman that this story's feudal world demands. While Cersei is the tragic character who is the epitome of the failure of the neurosis that this society appears to have towards female. Cath, on the other hand, represents someone who chooses to wield her assertiveness and brashness within the confines of her preordained role as a female. Danerys uses her open mind to embrace the seemingly barbaric culture that she is forced to be wedded to. Simliar to Cath, she accepts her status in an external sense. Internally, she stores up her strength to covertly work to shape and manipulate her outer world to her liking.  There is so much more stuff I would love to explore about the interplay between the male and female characters and how they are imperative to building a world that mirrors the historical and psychological progress of our world. Remember that the inspiration for the story comes from the true history of the War of the Roses? 

Anyways, I highly recommend it universally to all readers. After reading this, I plan to watch the HBO series and delay reading the others until I finish some mandatory books that need to be read and reviewed. Then, I shall carve out some precious time to finish these masterpieces.  
Humpty Dumpty

I’m disgusted by your noncommittal reaction
Furthermore, I’m ravaged by perverse passion
For you filthy ingrate
I need to purge myself of this toxic love
That derides my own ability to be happy

Taking up the sword and honor of my kingdom
I lay siege to all former feelings of you
Every-time, I am tempted to recollect about your rotten face
I’ll let the maddened rage overtake
Then, I'll wait  for my thirst for death to be sated

If I were Rapunzel
Waiting for you to dote on me
I would sever the hair that temporarily bonded us
And then watch your body clatter upon the cold stone below
Where everything sweetly cracks and
Your innards are deliciously emptied
Like that of Humpty Dumpty

I’ll savor my victory
For I can happily take the oath of chastity
To safeguard myself and my sanity
From your alluring presence
That maliciously lures and enraptures me
The devil inside of you persists in wanting to
Devour my individuality whole

Deep inside your imagined embrace, I knew nothing but emptiness
I held nothing but enmity for you
While I envisioned your sweet kiss,
I felt deeply defiled
Now I want nothing else but for you to be dead

Again, I re-imagined that scene of your fateful plummet
Genuine satisfaction bloomed when you finally felt my void
Upon falling into the deep shadows of my death
Now you’ll only exist within those indiscernible shadows
While, I happily rule my kingdom without feeling threatened
By your pernicious love

Thursday, May 26, 2011


(Picture with the Mastermind himself: Chuck Palahniuk, writer of Fight Club)

   Inexplicably, my whole morning began uncommonly serene. As a cool and collected pedestrian, I walked to the bus stop where the Bolt Bus was prepared to take my anxiety-ridden corpse to Bibliophile heaven. In my dreams, I envisaged a resplendent light around the Javits Center where heavenly treasures were stored all for my picking. Venerable heroes filled those halls. They were the writers who have earned their reputation as published writers. Now, the aspiring writers, eccentric librarians, and all the residents of book world must fill the Javits Center and become brutal when getting copies of their newest works.

    Luckily, Lexi allowed me to pass in the front of the line with her army of spunky book warriors. They were all equipped with their reusable grocery bags and book bags with extra padding. All of us were prepared to brave the swarm of caffeinated Book Expo America attendees who were teeming with excitement to procure ARCs.

  Once 9:00 am came, I rushed into the main convention area and madly grabbed ARCs of any interesting books at an unprecedented rate of time. Before I knew it, my back was already cramping due to the stress put on it with all the books which were being carried on my back. For the remainder of the time, I met many authors and received complimentary signed copies of their. Among them, I met Rob Bell and received his provocative book about hell. Earlier in the year, this book was met with ire from orthodox believers.

Other than that, I randomly encountered Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon, and convinced him persuasively to read George R.R. Martin's epic Song of Ice and Fire series. Besides that, the highlight of my day came when meeting Chuck Palanhuik, author Fight Club, who was convincingly zany. Then again, he is the writer of "Guts," which was sickeningly delightful and sadistically humorous. This was a smaller story set in an even crazier ingenious book called "Haunted" which truly was an unorthodox novel. Strangely, my library once had this very adult book shelved inappropriately in the Juvenile section. Without divulging any of the gruesome details, I insinuated that the book was definitely for mature readers only. Therefore, the librarian at my local librarian finally realized that perhaps the book should be shelved somewhere with the apt name "Adults," or people who might be better prepared for the awe-inspiring madness within the book.

Anyways, Chuck Palahniuk and I definitely exchanged some very interesting words.  When I meet writers that greatly inspire me, I tend to senselessly ramble. Of all the things I could have said, I  described how  his short story "Guts," made my childhood fear of bath tub and pool drains more pronounced. Luckily, I reassured him that the fear was safely contained in my subconscious. But, I also have this strange paranoia about spontaneous desires. If I have a certain need to assuage those spontaneously created desires, the pool drain most definitely would become a very dangerous weapon. If you've read the story, you know the procedure to which the pool drain would become highly dangerous. I take no responsibility for any of my readers who feel I should be held responsible if someone responsibly emulates the dangerous act described in gratuitous terms within "Guts." Also, I don't want my delicate readers to  reprimand me for reading books they themselves are disgusted by.

Without digressing any further, he wrote the words "Justin who now Fears Pool Drains," which helped make my nonsensical conversation with him immortalized. Now, I'll always see this and recall my weirdest conversation within any author that I had met. At least, it wasn't the James Marsters encounter that resulted in James Marsters and I essentially sharing a special bonding moment over being impoverished. This only happened because I had to mention to him that I could not afford his autograph.

On the way home, I was still stunned by my surreal moment with Chuck Palahniuk. Due to being overtired by the strenuous exercise of toting around hefty books all day, I decided to spend 15 dollars on traveling home via NJ transit versus waiting five hours for my Bolt Bus. My heroic parents luckily salvaged me but I was essentially trapped at the Trenton Transit Center because karma decided to intervene. Vengefully, it produced wire issues on the railways between Trenton and Philadelphia which left me stranded. Again, I'm fortunate to have parents who actually rescued me. Imagine my day if I were stuck at the Trenton Transit Center with some of the midnight zombie crew? Believe me, there were definitely some deprecated people already invading the station at around 8 or 9pm. No station in Philadelphia, Camden, and Trenton is left unaffected by these invasive zombies.

Anyways, my quiet, secluded life needed this event. Before this, I was starting to collect dust while trying to write and research all day ever since my college term ended. Hopefully next year, I'll devise a better travel plan which doesn't leave me wandering around New York with a massive sack of books.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Adam and Eve Interpretation Part 2

It all began with "Eve," the one wily female that has become emblematic of the tempter and seducer of fragile men. Men are viewed from this wrongful Christian interpretation of the Adam and Eve myth as being victims of the enigmatic strength of women. Strangely, this depiction empowers women even if the depiction of Eve as a femme fa-tale figure is primarily viewed as an insidious model.

At the core of the Christian heart lies a great masculine fear of uncontrollable lust and desire. The contents of Augustine's "Confessions," is an elaborate prayer to God to help defeat the sinister, unappeasable  hunger for lust. Soon enough Augustine realizes that women are blameworthy for this lust. Instead of being emboldened by a true realization of his internal sin, Augustine realizes he can craft women into the perfect scapegoat.

Interestingly, Adam does an identical thing when he blames Eve's craftiness for eating the apple of the Tree of Good and Evil. While some Christians think in a linear fashion and therefore think that an apple carries the potential to bring about the fall of the world. Both Adam and Eve may be utilizing the apple as a scapegoat for a symbolic sin. Could Eve have had an adulterous relationship with the snake who Christians view as Satan, While Jews interestingly view as nothing but a stand-in for some force of evil, many Christians have now led us to believe that the Jews were unconsciously writing about the medieval figure of "Satan." (Though they know subconsciously that their interpretations are erroneous, they still "tempt" their minds to feel obligated to believe in the false literal interpretation in order to earn their ID God's acceptance)

More than likely, there are different underpinnings to this myth. Religious scholars who have no affiliation with any one religion always remark that the most accurate interpretations of Biblical myths originate from the Jewish faith. Christian theologians often make the mistake of viewing Christianity arrogantly. Thus, when they read through the Bible, they think of the Christian revisionist view as being highly superior. In result, the Adam and Eve story becomes more proof of the disreputableness of  women and the wrongful idea that they are solely culpable for unleashing good and evil in the world.

The Jewish depiction instead describes the Adam and Eve story as metaphorically standing for being in refined kinship with God. The fall of humanity never truly happened as some unprecedented event in the history of the realistic world. It is nothing but a mythic way of describing ideal wholeness when we are not dwelling within our reality. Actually, the whole Adam and Eve story is like a reverie of being unionized with nature and the ineffable sense of God. That reverie though is dispersed when we are awake and are dismayed to discover that reality involves some polarization within ourselves which we mythically depict as forces of good or evil. Then again, as we have uncovered more information about ourselves, we are becoming overstimulated to the point where these things appear as ambiguous. Thus, a religious structure helps us to regain the illusion of simplified morals. It helps us to imagine that we are inherently simplistic to the point where we either obey our religious structures or the anarchy of our consciences.

Eve is left with that choice when beholding the apple of the core of her "superego." She must decide whether or not she wants to follow the traditional rules of gender imposed on her by a patriarchal religion. Or, she wants to explore and then learn through trial and process about the complexity of the  facets of this universe. Christians weirdly view Eve's choice to follow her own conscience as an emasculation process where Adam follows the whims of her wife rather than his superior masculine ego. With this interpretation, women would be deprived of individual rights and a sense of humanity within the world of Christendom.

With the Jewish interpretation, they do not bother deluding themselves with the superficial literalism of Christianity. Instead, they do not put much emphasis on the idea of gender when it comes to who is to blame for bringing the destruction of the world. It is merely a allegorical tale of divorce from our ideal dream of a world where our maker is tangible, rather than intangible. Also, there is oneness within everything. We are in communion with nature or the sense of God. In this dream of ours, we are separated from the social constructs of gender, religion, and other things that we insist upon having to distract us from the overbearing sense of nihilism within the inexplicable world of our universe and individual existence.

In the end, the Adam and Eve story is not the fallacious scientific account of the probable creation of the world. God does not conjure things like a wizard within a fairly tale. JRR Tolkien's Simarillion  reflects the artistry of the creation account. JRR Tolkien does not disrespectfully make the Christian creation story become devoid of mystery or artfulness. Instead, he composes it into a evocative song that conveys to us the mysterious language of God being "art." Art has been unable to be explained within human language which is linear. Art instead is nonlinear and therefore requires careful examination. Perhaps, JRR Tolkien might have believed that the idea of the Bible being divinely inspired was not the foolish idea of some Christians that some tangible, curmudgeonly God spoke for a week to the prophets while they miraculously neglected using the bathroom or eating just to write down every word of the Bible.

No, the creation of the Bible came through the necessity of humans to try to explicate a God that no one has a clear idea of. Only their dreams and visions that are summoned from their imaginations can weave some sort of mythic tome that provides a collection of parables that were never meant to literally speak of religious truths. Instead, they were the equivalent to the Greek myths in that they provided an imaginary history that cohesively reflects our futile search for meaning within an overwhelming universe where God infinitely appears nonexistent. When Christians impose literal interpretations on text that was written as a story of the imagined world of the metaphysical, they are artlessly denying people the privilege to freely engage in the universal spiritual search for meaning. Also, they are being very disrespectful of the history of Jewish tradition that surrounds the Bible. More often than not, they forget that originally that the Old Testament was meant as the mythical history of the Jewish people. Judaism did not exist just to later serve Christianity in providing text that would be completely revised. In many ways, Christians are anachronistic when they read the Old Testament and that is the next area of discussion I'll be delving into with my next post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Menmoch the Devil Analysis: Spiritual Therapy for the Disillusioned Part 1: Attack of the Conscience

"Menmoch the Devil" is a breathtaking novel that was written by Anne Rice around 1995. The novel truthfully explores some profound spiritual concepts as Lestat envisages some encounter with the famed devil himself who curiously walks as an "ordinary man" At the beginning of the novel, Lestat embarks on his routine hunting for the morally-corrupt victim which will satiate his primal hunger. Normally, when feeding on their blood, images are transmitted from them that threatens to cause Lestat to feel remorse about his actions. Primarily, when animals prey on victims, they do not have moral images visited upon them which may limit their ability to deftly kill their victim.

Lestat's victim calls himself a mundane named "Roger," so we initially believe that he's indistinguishable from any of the other depraved victims whom Lestat killed. Originally, Lestat finds himself being desirous of being intimate with Roger. Since he is unable to exhibit his love in the usual mortal fashion of engaging in sex. He finds himself drinking from Roger to grant him the ecstasy of being intimate with another human being. Commonly, religious believers identify their innate desire towards God as being the motivator for futilely engaging in particular activities to discover that euphoria where a semblance of God can be felt. When we desire to be intimate with another human being, we are displaying our need to feel accepted by a greater intelligence. This does not necessarily translate always to sexual intercourse but some Christian cults in the past have felt that sexual orgasm would grant them a privileged, short-lived experience with the transcendent "God."

In Lestat's case, his blood lust might be believed to be a method of seeking out God through gratification of a person's sensual desires. In reality, Lestat does not truly want the fleeting feel of being gratified; he wants to find a discernible God within the chaotic, meaningless world of the "Savage Garden," where supposedly rapture caused by stimulation with art or pleasure are the only things which offer us meaning. Otherwise, we are meant to live all lives by engaging in pleasurable activities till we reach our natural ends. Then, our conscious existence disappears within the illusion of the meaningful aesthetics present within the Savage Garden.

Does Lestat truly believe these things? When remorse rebounds and materializes into the apparition of Roger, Lestat is faced with the "ghost of his past," similar to the Charles Dicken's tale: "A Christmas Carol. Roger is in a sense, Jacob Marley. Roger foreshadows Lestat's spiritual quest by alluding to his need to protect Dora with all of his ability. Dora represents the individual with spiritual fervor that Lestat has desired ever since envisioning himself as a priest as a lad. Sadly, his own psychological faults have been immortalized and now he only lives to thrive on plenteous amounts of pleasure. He no longer has to worry about the inevitability of death and the possibility that a great morass of nothingness awaits him beyond that point.

When Roger tells about his life, Lestat identifies with Roger who also is a murderer at heart whom also gravitates towards wanting to know God. Yet, they seem to be unable to due to unidentifiable dispositions that make them commit vices. These vices make the idea or concept of God seem impossible because they feel they are too steeped in immorality to be effectively saved as promised by various verses within the Bible. Therefore, they decide it is preferable to  view the world as the "Savage Garden," where temporary experiences of great pleasure offer enough meaning to sustain our lives till we've reached the end.

When Roger leaves, Lestat soon encounters Satan or Memnoch the Devil who tries to cater to Lestat's spiritual needs by offering him a spiritual vision of heaven and hell. Lestat opts to delay it for two nights until he feels confident that he is not delusional and that this visitation by the devil is truly a rational image and not a figment of his demoralized  imagination. 

As with Scrooge, Lestat know must endure the wait till he is ushered into the ineffable dimension of hell and heaven. In the next post, I'll be continuing my analysis of "Memnoch the Devil," with Lestat's vision of heaven.
Analysis of the "Garden of Eden," Story

      The Garden of Eden story is principally a creation story fashioned in the same style that the Greek story of "Pandora's Box," was written.  Curiously, both these stories indict the female and her strong inquisitiveness as being the sole reason for the fall of humanity. Due to this mistranslation, The Garden of Eden story has become one of the most dangerous stories in existence. If it was viewed primarily as a harmless story filled to the brim with allegorical language, the story would have been bereft of any dangerous consequences.

    Yet, Christianity has besmirched the story with their own arrogance. The Jews had never meant for the story to be handled as some literal account of creation.  Either way, Christianity historically misconstrued the old testament, the Torah and forced it  to be filled with underlying secret messages that tell of their place of supremacy among all the major world religions.  If one of the noted writers of the Bible who were neither Moses or Abraham were even to have heard of Biblical literalism, they would have greeted this absurd idea as something that is not just purely idiotic but sacrilegious as well.

 In Sunday School, kids are indoctrinated into the literary falsehood of reading text literally and superficially. We are supposed to discredit the rational idea of imaginative constructs and denounce those in favor of deluding our mind into the idea that Adam and Eve had Godiva hair, insatiable lust issues, and God was both tyrannical and petty.

My main scruple with the creation account was the loony idea that an apple literally represented the unacknowledged existence of the polar opposite forces of good and evil. Even at the age of six, the idea of an apple literally representing those things was pure idiocy. I was accustomed to the force of imagination and it was proven to be something worthwhile. It could create some very alluring tapestries and stories which promised deeper meaning underneath the surface.

In literary terms, delving below the surface is finding the anagogical  meaning. Some could interpret this as finding the subtext: What is the true significance of this story below the magnetic facade? Many religious individuals misread the Bible with an intent to read without the inclusion of their analytical lens. Perhaps, the child's mind that has not been naturally worked to utilize  this cognitive power of seeking true comprehension through questions is a wiser method of understanding cryptic Biblical texts.

When we plunge below the surface, we sense that this story was never meant to be a literal, scientific account of creation. Instead, it elaborates upon the ineffable place of being in spiritual communion with some benign, enigmatic God. The "God," figure within the Creation story is not meant to be a literal God just like "Aslan" within Narnia was never meant to be a real deity within the imaginary world of Narnia. He's not something our mind can synthesize and even constrain with gender specific nouns. He, She, or it might easily be a profound supreme being that can only be seen through the human lens of being nonexistent in our terms of existence.

Maybe, our artistic powers endow us with the power to envisage a relational God. We feel disconsolate by the unapproachable God, the agnostic God. Therefore, we must place him within the framework of a story and then extrapolate the way in which he reacts to our vices and mistakes. Whenever God commands something, he is the indistinguishable voice of reason or superego within our minds. Sometimes, like in Noah's Ark story, God instead could be shaped into someone as vengeful and conceited as Noah who never expended any mental energy to empathize with all the people who died in this great deluge. Another post of mine will show the faults of Noah rather then the benevolent "Noah" who receives so much adulation that many Christians have forgotten about the elements of Greek tragedy that persist in the Noah tale.

What can we learn from the "Garden of Eden," story? Perhaps our efforts to understand God are thwarted whenever we sought to impose our will on his. The true underlying purpose of the "Garden of Eden," myth lies with the subversiveness of fettering God to our obstinate will. Whenever we do something "in the name of God," we could be doing something definably immoral. But, we still beseech our psychological preferred God construct to support us even if we are engaging in malicious activities. Is God commonly used as the "ends that justified the means," which is the root source of encouragement for our actions? Within this Machiavellian equation, God is nothing but a motivator for our selfish actions.

Is this the fall of humanity then? It is not a literal fall as vividly described in this myth. Rather, it is a psychological pull towards our selfish cortex that resides in our brain. We depart from the enigmatic, wondrous God who is rightly higher than our  futile systems of languages and constructs. Soon enough, our Freudian egos conceptualize a smaller God. When Eve and Adam are consuming the apple, they are satiating their egos with a God that will do their will only. This apple can allow us to hate, maim, and ignore the victims of humanity's selfish actions. Instead, our new sovereign "ego" God will allow us to be sanctimonious and control those of a lower hierarchy with stringent dogmatic rules that are never truly God ordained.

In my next post, I want to explore this issue in more depth. One of the main points I want to bring up is an exploration of sexism and how many of the Bible stories were manipulated to promote the neurotic belief that women should be subservient to the will of man rather than God. Then again, within Christianity, God does become nothing but the epitome of masculinity.
Immortal Cynics

Within time’s essence
I’m omnipresent
I prefigure everything
Sometimes, I can foresee the blissful pockets of light
In the lives of others albeit
My own desolate life
Where time wills me along with the
Swift inclination of mankind’s desires

Often, I can recall that lover
Who left me lovelorn and disillusioned
Due to the vigor of unhealthy passions
That pervaded my active mind
 They existed long before I became intrinsic to time
It was sometime…
Before I became acquainted with the
Eternal Solemnity of time

Dressed impeccably, my desirable lover sat on the
White, ceramic steps leading to the stately halls of Caesar
He never adorned himself with doleful toga of black
Instead, he was fashioned with immaculate white
Much like the exaggerated rendition of him that haunted my mind

Ever since laying my eyes on him
My wandering stares grew stealthy
As they secretly stole glimpses of him
During those times he held a pensive stare
Below this thoughtful façade, a myriad of philosophical thoughts
Danced deftly through the golden halls
Of his erudite mind

Trapped within the mirrors of this hall was
Droves of sullen reflections of myself
Who were transfixed with his beauty
But, the sadness that defaced my happiness was
The realization that your thoughts never revolved around me
Even when my thoughts sought to barricade yours with
Subtle statements that alluded to my love for you

You always sauntered quickly
Out of the hall of my detested reflections
Soon enough, the manifestations of your true source of passion
Unraveled itself and became a wan lady
With your beloved golden razor, you delicately shaved her
Golden hair off her voluptuous, naked body
Till a pile of golden locks became a bed of hair
For the two lusty lovers

Once, I heard his pleasurable moan softly
Reverberate through the room
I scrambled out of his deplorable fantasy
Then I submerged myself into the pool of my tears
With my eyes closed and my passions quelled
I beseeched Hades to take me to the underworld
With the thoughts of my lover eradicated
Along with the underlying yearn that
 Engendered this overwhelming need for my submission

Unbeknownst to me, it seems that I had murdered myself
While wading through the wreckage of my dreams
Because of the poison I laced my wine with
I had no true need of Hades intervention
Through my own efforts, my reality finally blackened climatically
Yet, the plague of my unrequited passion would remain

Now, I sit within time’s ineffable eternity
Watching other lovers face a similar plight
Where their respective lovers or
Series of lovers never reciprocate
The passion that uncontrollably surfaces within our minds
Each of their ends were individually tragic and hopeless
Somewhere in the domain of their afterlife,
They have become immortal cynics of the
Bastard of romance

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ghostly Passion

Your thoughts, ideals, and faults
Conspire against my melancholy 
Your imagined soul; your incorporeal treasures
Mystifies me and grants me a distinct existence

Before I had only been a diaphanous form
Unseen and unrecognized by others and even myself
When you whisper my name to invoke my spirit,
My wits and consciousness are fused together
So that I’ll know you and myself

Yet, a great trepidation causes perdition to reclaim me
My devil entraps me in a tomb of self doubt
Where I forego thinking about you or myself
Reality becomes a pristine delusion which
Floats gently on this stream of forgotten conscience

In this self-conceived inferno,
Judas’s treacherous self resides within my core
While innumerable false selves march through my ruins
With both dignity and vainglory

Some projection of you
Pervades the indefinable Purgatory beyond this hell
Standing apprehensively upon the threshold between hell and purgatory,
I try to muster some determination
To verbalize the ineffability of my love for you

Inevitably, I keep falling from one ring to another
Till eventually I have succumbed to Judas’ deceit
In my mind, I struggle in vain to depict our paradise
Quickly my blistering reality of
Being spurned continuously by Judas’ venomous words returns

I struggle futilely to liberate myself from
My self-imposed exile from you
But, my inability to define my feelings about you
Keeps me imprisoned within this masochistic prison of mine
Inexplicably, I can tolerate the pain of being without you
Rather than be misunderstood

How can you expect me to love you?
Especially, when you have neglected to notice my torture
Can’t you hear my plaintive screams that can
Only be heard deep within my forgotten spirit?
Do you not love the disconsolate person I am without you?

Sometimes, I wonder if you are hiding beyond my shadow realm
 I fervently hope that you understand my persistent silence
Wrought by devastating fear of your lack of reciprocation
Hopefully, I can cleave to your spirit and
Ascend to the heavenly plane by
Entrusting you to uplift and appreciate my ghostly self

Monday, May 09, 2011

Vampire Chronicles Philosophy: Duality: Mind/Body Problem

 Traditionally, many philosophers have struggled futilely over the exact principles of the mind and body problem. One explanation, materialism, is the strong belief that the structure of our minds and conscience are merely a part of a large scheme of neurological processes that we have not completely identified. This is the core element of atheistic belief where the mind itself is a construct: the identity of "I" is merely something that allows for us to recognize ourselves. Also, we tend to naturally be egotistical therefore we want to believe that a part of ourselves has divine properties and might not be bound to nature's laws.

In the duality belief, there truly is a difference between the brain organ and the intangible essence of our minds. The intangible essence of our minds is commonly called our "soul." Typical religious belief believes that the soul is the governing source of our being. Without it, we are demented like in the devolution process that humans undergo after receiving the dementer's kiss within Harry Potter.  Our minds enliven us with certain spiritual gifts and unique personalities. It instills us within a hope that we can be separated and salvaged from the eventual nihilistic process of natural death.

Within Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles books, the vampires live beyond the point of the mortal existence. In that earlier one, they had no faith within the existence of the immaterial self. They were bound only to the bias of humanity where human structures and systems are our only attempts to try to properly define a life that seems to be only explained through the concept of weakly chained anomalies. In this world the two options for reasons for being lie with being accidentally placed within an accidentally created universe. Lestat describes as a verdant paradise where the only things we can solely believe in are naturalistic laws and the aesthetics of nature. Other than that, we can determine any sort of greater existence. Later, within Memnoch the Devil, Lestat is finally offered a glimpse of heaven and hell though he cannot rationally believe within any of it.

Therefore, though the vampire existence provides strong proof of the existence of a dual self in which a material and immaterial self coexist: this is still overruled by the mortal memories that still reside within the vampire mind. Certainly, the powers that vampires such as Lestat accompany those who are accepting of the possibility of a spiritual dimension to themselves. While Louis ruminates over his human memories and is fettered by them,therefore; he does not exhibit any of the vampire powers because he has not accepted his vampire self and his intangible spirit that lives within the vampire form.

So in some ways, Louis represents the vampire epitome of materialism because he remains closed off from his spiritual dimension. Lestat differs from this because he accepts it because he's capricious by nature and open to new possibilities. For him, those things are titillating and therefore he warmly embraces them.  Possibly, Anne Rice uses Lestat and Armand more because as the books progress, the doors to the spiritual world are opened and therefore Anne Rice can begin to explore all her deep questions about a realm that lies frustratingly unexamined within our real world.

Within the next edition of the Vampire Chronicle's Philosophy series, I'll be delving into the second book "The Vampire Lestat," and begin to explore his characteristics and how they relate to spirituality. Also, I really want to highlight the elements of the novel that foreshadow the events that culminate within "Memnoch the Devil." Increasingly, I have become delightfully aware of the interconnectedness of all Anne Rice's books especially the first five Vampire Chronicle's books.

Please be on the lookout for more and feel free to also participate in the Game of Thrones Readathon. Details for that are mentioned in the last post!
FantastyFreak's Countdown to BEA!! PLUS Information about the Game of Thrones Readathon Below.

Writing these posts with sustained interest is definitely a challenge when my blog has spurts of high readership than it starts to tank. So, for me to invest so much interest and energy into this blog for the next two weeks, would either earn me the title of being "crazy" or "remarkable."

Anyways for the next two weeks here, I pledge to write a post to nearly every day or every other day in anticipation of the E3, Comic-Con of the publishing world: Book Expo America. I'm planning to attend this bibliophile extravaganza May 25th. Before then, I'll be hosting many new innovations on this blog and updates to continuing series of posts including the infamous Vampire Chronicle's Philosophy post series.

Future series within the next week will include a "Song of Ice and Fire" Readathon. I feel isolated when striving to read through the series. Like Jon Snow, I feel like the bastard son of blogs because I feel rather neglected and stranded alongside a bleak looking wall. My only companion happens to be a promiscuous dwarf named "Tyrion" who has many accounts of his various conquests which sadly have nothing to do with military prowess.

Anyways, I've seen many blogs crumble to ashes when trying one of these series. It seems everyone is doe-faced when these sorts of occur. "Oh Fantastyfreak!" they'll say astonishingly. "Of course, I'm interested in joining your reading brigade! But, are you sure you want to promote the reading of something so profane, gruesome, and kinda risqué?"

"See, here dedicated blog readers, I feel that by reading this together we can overcome our discomfort with scenes that include a certain tribe of people called the "Dortraki." I think instituting this readathon will make the daunting task of reading these scenes and these hefty books far more enjoyable. I'm not saying they're bad books. Quite the reverse, they're actually the quintessential fantasy book with great examples of rich characters and well-assembled soap opera. But often, reading any book alone can be lonesome. Plus, some people just do not have enough perseverance to make it through each book.  So, I think through having me spark discussions about a set number of pages, I can convince people to take up arms and read along with me."

From this point on,I'll be including continuing commentary on my Twitter. If I gather enough interest through people joining my blog and the discussions here, I will reveal more surprises along the way.
With my fervor for the series and also for this blog, I think this will be neat concept if people are willing to partake. Your first assignment involves ready the first 100 pages of Game of Thrones. On Wednesday, be prepared to have those pages read as I will be writing a post on the history of bastard sons. Also, I am planning to write some discussion questions for everyone to answer. Some topics will include discussion about omnipresent gender roles within the world, historical similarities to the "War of the Roses," and the first unveiling of the underside of all these characters. I believe that these books cleverly have archetype characters that persuade us to be comfortable within the confines of the story. Until, wise George R.R. Martin pulls these things apart and we start to realize the grand differences between this book and tradition. Could his series be trying to adjoin the elements of antiquity (with obvious comparisons with the War of the Roses) and contemporary social and political issues?

Immortal Obsession by: Denise K. Rago

 Similar to indie music, there is an off-branch of book publishing where the books published are physically published in low quantities while the largest margin are limited to electronic sales via Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble's Nook. Denise K. Rago's book Immortal Obsession  happens to fall in this growing market. Luckily, I happened to procure a genuine bound copy. For some reason, I haven't found the virtual Kindle or Nook editions to be irresistible enough for me to secure a transition from the old school format to the new school format.

  Suprisingly, Denise K. Rago definitely did not have immediate problems with engrossing us within the first severeal pages when our attention is fleeting. From about page one to page five, our attention spans are low, our base desires or Freudian ID is pretty overactive. So, it takes a talented writer to surmount these and fill us with only one desire to continue paging through her book. From the first few pages, I gathered the impression that Denise K. Rago was partially emulating Anne Rice's decadent, sensual style of writing. Ever since, Interview with the Vampire, has been published, there have been many imitations of Anne Rice's style. In the publishing world, whenever a large, iconic bestseller is featured in the market, writers become enviable and write books similarly to these authors to attain some similar sale figures to the best-seller. 

But, Immortal Obsession deviates from the Anne Rice style through incorporating known archetypes from many urban fantasy books. At parts, you can discern that there are elements of Richelle Meade and Anne Rice bundled in there along with Denise K. Rago's own unique interpretation of the vampire genre. Some people might even find the plot surrounding an enigmatic human girl with suspect powers being reminiscent of Twilight. But,Denise K. Rago's vampires are certainly not forswearing their chastity and their literary vampire nature: sometimes they can be quite the little nymphomaniacs.

Sprinkle in some fast-paced action sequences and back-stories similar to Angel and you start to notice that this book is an entertaining hodgepodge of all the author's favorite elements of the urban fantasy or paranormal romance genres. When I take note of this, I'm not criticizing her persay. But, I think the market is currently saturated with a lot of vampire books to the point where we cannot help but unconsciously involve some favorite elements that truly define this genre.

Overall, I did not find the book to be "poignant," or anything related to the term "legendary." In actuality, I found the book to be mostly a very entertaining read or a homage to the urban fantasy genre overall. Meaning, this book will not become the epitome of the urban fantasy genre but it would definitely be enjoyed by fans who tend to have leanings toward this genre and type of story-telling. Again, I did not find this book to be wholly profound in any measure. But, the book was definitely readable which is often a very hard comment to make especially since my attention does tend to wane by page three or four of many books. Unless, an author has an established plot line or some inkling of character development by page five then I normally don't even waste my time with the book. Fortunately, this book passed my hardest task of actually be a book that did not require dogged determination to finish. Yet, it certainly was not a book that will be memorable for any literary significance but that  stage is often very hard to reach.

So, if you're finding yourself vampire deprived this summer, I suggest that you read this book when in need of a good beach read! If you're expecting something that will ultimately replace Anne Rice then you might need to keep scouring the book shelves!

By the way, the author's page and blog happens to be here if you are interested in attaining more information about this book, click here.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


Every time it rained:
The moment where sunshine was denounced
In the name of the melodramatic dark sky
I visited the shadowy figure
Seated against the tallest oak
Buried Underneath the torn green umbrella
That was a natural feature of these aged woods

When I approached the figure, I chastened myself
For the menacing snore
But I continued to crawl in the mud and the undergrowth of the woods
Till I found myself seated close enough
To begin to feel the rapture
Of being cloaked in their shadow

The figure persistently ignored me
While I sat with my mouth agape
In shock over their darkened beauty
Somewhere in my mind, I recalled a few precious details about them
I made the figure resplendent and masculine
Then, I etched a sardonic smile and bedazzling eyes
All that was left was the hair to which I used my own
To offer the figure some resemblance of myself

Suddenly, the figure’s bodice became more voluptuous
As their breasts gained more density
Some other things completely vanished and
Left signs of a feminine anatomy in their trace
Yet the figure’s face was still remarkably steely
One could even say that it was still masculine

I approached the figure tentatively while
Contemplating whether to kiss them or not
In the human world, I would be smoldered by flames of ignorance
Then I would be expected to be incessantly burnt within
Some netherworld of the damned
To me, everyone who has ever loved virtuously and spiritually is there
Beseeching a curmudgeonly supreme being
For an ounce of true humanity

To love this figure irrevocably, I forswear abstractions of the human God
By bridging our souls, I rediscovered a new enigma
I felt connected to a new sense of God
One that was cloaked and abhorred by the world
But could be excised by the acceptance of the love that our heart bears

I overlooked the ambiguity of the shadowed figure’s self and kissed them
The façade of my wearied self sank away
Along with the chain of puritanical values
This kiss was neither bestial nor chaste
It was a kiss that cut deep to the spirit

Cradled in their arms
With all my insecurities vanishing
I felt my nihilistic self become forsaken
For once, I felt the gravity of my love for the grandeur of the world
Signaled by the rapid pacing of my heart and
The euphoria of feeling the authentic grace of the God
Too mysterious for the primeval senses