Tag Archives: Sin

. . . And A Little Reflective

by Richard

I was going to start this post for you dudes with a funny little anecdote about the past week or so and how hard it was to work with someone else scribbling red ink all over my words, but I thought better of it when I realized the date.

Sometimes I think we here in America make too much about anniversaries, but this is one that always gets to me.

Maybe because it’s been such a short time, but this day always brings back that rush of disbelief, the staggering thought that someone could intentionally cause this much death, destruction and heartbreak over a political/philosophical/religious point.

I’ll never understand.

Which makes remembering what happened all the more difficult.

I realize that any single death lost to this sort of imbecilic, egotistical damage is horrible, and it’s only the scale that makes this so memorable, but. . . That scale. So many people lost in such a short time.

And it drove this country more than a little crazy, a crazy we’re only now beginning to come out of. A little. We’ve got a long way to go.

But for now, before we set out once again on the journey back toward national self-respect, I think we should pause, reflect and remember the personal damage this day brought eleven years ago.

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Sunday Serenade: Paradise By The Dashboard Light

by Richard

Meat Loaf — the singer, not the meal — is something that could only have happened in the 1970s. We were still coming out of our disco-induced haze, still hung up on overproduced shows featuring even-more-flamboyant-than-normal rock stars who tried to sell us on the idea that they lived not only larger than life but larger than we could conceive of life being lived.

So, into this scene stepped Meat Loaf. Born Marvin Lee Aday in 1947, Meat Loaf was a very odd choice for a sex symbol. Sporting more than just a couple extra pounds, adorned by very long, stringy hair, Meat Loaf loved jumping around on stage and mopping at his sweating face with huge white hankies.

Look, I just lived through the ’70s. I wasn’t in charge.

Anyway. Meat Loaf is best known for his Bat Out Of Hell trilogy of albums. Mostly, though, it’s the first one, titled simply Bat Out Of Hell. It’s got classics like “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth,” “All Revved Up And No Place To Go,” and, of course, “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.”

This song tells the story of a young dude and young dudette making out in a car, then breaks to a play-by-play of a baseball game still metaphorically talking about the incipient sex, and then the desperate wish by the dude to have never actually done the dirty deed because he couldn’t live up to his hasty promise to stay with her the rest of his life in return for sex then and there.

It’s a classic. Enjoy!

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Dude Review: The Lost Hero

by Richard

The ancient gods of Western civilization have withdrawn from the world following the epic events detailed in the Camp Half-Blood books, starring Percy Jackson (son of Poseidon), by author Rick Riordan.

Of course, just because the gods say they’ve withdrawn from their interactions with mortals, well, that doesn’t make it true. Knowing those gods as we do, through myth, legend and a great series of books, we can be pretty sure there’s still some godly meddling going on.

And there is.

In The Lost Hero, the first book of a new series called The Heroes of Olympus, we’re introduced to a whole bunch of new main characters, most notably Jason, a half-blood demi-god with little to no memory of his past, a strange tattoo on his arm, and a metaphorical target plastered on his back.

For now, let’s all get down on our knees and thank those self-same gods that Rick Riordan is back with another book set in the same universe as the magnificently wonderful Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. This truly is a cause for celebration. To me, the Percy Jackson books are what Harry Potter would have liked to have been if he had any ambition at all. They’re full of fantastically complex characters, fast plotting, tight action scenes and genuine emotional heft. These are books that all young dudes would love to read or have read to them.

Both my oldest (Sarcasmo) and youngest (Hyper Lad) young dudes loved these books. Zippy the Monkey Boy, who’s of the opinion that a book without pictures is a waste of paper, preferred to read the graphic novel version and leave it at that. His loss.

Anyway. Back to the book.

Riordan takes a bit of a chance with this book, consigning as he does, Percy Jackson to, if not limbo, then at least the literary equivalent thereof. That is, Percy Jackson does NOT star in these books. He’s talked about and missed, but he’s not actually on stage. The main player here is Jason, who’s memory begins on the back of a school bus on his way to a class trip with two people who may or may not be his girlfriend and best friend.

The action here is fast and furious, starting early and pausing only to let the reader catch his breath before barreling headlong into another adventure.

Jason, you see, isn’t like the other children of the gods who inhabit Camp Half Blood. In fact, his appearance at the summer camp for the children of the gods causes quite a bit of consternation among the staff there, and not a little bit of fear. But what is it about Jason’s very existence and attendance at the camp that’s causing this level of panic?

That, dudes, is the question. And it’s got a great answer. (Of course I had it figured out, but, then again, this is written with the younger dudes in mind. The fact that I and most other older dudes can enjoy it is just a happy bit of synchronicity.)

The Lost Hero is a fantastic read. If you’ve got a young dude or dudette who is even the tiniest bit interested in Greek and Roman mythology, likes fantastic adventure and well-developed characters, then you must get this book. Without question, this rates five (5) dudes out of five.

Buy it. Read it. Enjoy it. Then suffer along with me until the next book in the series comes out.

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