Lou Reed

So Lou Reed is dead. While I haven’t blogged much about music on this site yet, it’s a big part of my life, and this news today has rocked me. It’s too early to tell for sure why Lou died, but he was 71 and had a pretty nice run for a dude who put his body through some bad, bad shit. Keith Richards somehow outlasts another one….

For a musician, Lou Reed was a great writer. He considered the records he made to be chapters in what he called his “Great American Novel”. His songs seem to me to be like reportage from the doorway to Hell. Lou made it possible for rock songs to take on real people and real situations. Let’s run through some of the topics he made music about: transvestism, murder, domestic abuse, drug abuse, S & M, violence, bingeing, insanity—what’s it all add up to? Great Fucking Art. You never felt like Lou was just a tourist down these dark alleys. He’d seen and done a lot of shit. His lyrics just tell you like it was, without judgement. Bring your own moral if you want to, Lou didn’t fuck with morals.

Musically, I have mixed feelings about Lou Reed. My very favorite types of music involve great composition and superior musicianship. Prog rock, jazz, fusion, etc. Lou, instead, brings a rawness to most of his stuff that I sometimes wish was a little more polished. But sometimes, we need the raw, the honest, the unpolished. It serves its own purpose. Lou considered rock to be truth, unvarnished. He didn’t waste too much time on making it pretty.

One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.

Lou didn’t do jazz. Lou did Lou. He was one of a kind.

Lou Reed

The Guardians of Dargniion, part three

(Before reading, if you haven’t read the first two parts of this story:

Click here, for part one;

Or here, for part two!)

Fractar Roeh watched the destruction of Lakeshore on a holowave set in another seedy room. Stunned as he was by the sudden finality of it, he still felt no real surprise. This reaction by the Guardian Force could not be said to be unexpected. In fact, he was suddenly sure that this was the very response that the Nine wanted.

Continue reading

I Say: Goddamn. Goddamn! : WordPressin’ 4

This article is part of a series! Click…

  • Here, for part one;
  • Here, for part two;
  • Here, for part three

So I must say, this WordPress course with Lorelle is one of the most demanding classes I’ve ever had. Not in terms of the assignments being difficult, but the sheer quantity of work she loads on us is herculean. And none of us are even Hercules. Just like to point that out.

I’m not going to call any student out for complaining. Don’t need to. It’s pretty much a consensus. This course is a ton of goddamn work. We’re not only posting dozens, it seems, of posts and pages to our individual blogs; we also are responsible for turning in articles to the class site on how to use various tools on WordPress. Somehow, this stuff’s getting done without me (one of the first week’s editors) because I haven’t found the time yet to even check out the class site. Articles are dropping into my email, and I merely acknowledge them with a nod or a sigh. The thing is, I have more classes than just this one, and there’s enough to do for Lorelle’s class to make it a full-time job to stay on top of it. I believe that in the future, contributing to the class site by writing articles and editing and all could and should be a class in itself. Maintaining a personal blog and collaborating with other students, which we have just started to do, is plenty of work. Pile on too much, and both endeavors suffer from it.

The thing is, Lorelle Van Fossen is just not like the rest of us mere humans. She claims to post five articles before ten a.m. every day, and we all believe her. And as I said before, she’s very excited about WordPress and sharing it with us.  And we really like her. But it’s getting to be too damn much. (I know I’m writing this post when I could be working on some stuff for class, but I feel an obligation to do a “WordPressin'” post once a week, so I’m doing it.) As I pointed out in a previous installment, we’re like guinea pigs. Test subjects. This curriculum is new. Well, the guinea pigs are starting to squeal and scream.

It’s fun, though. I already thought WordPress was fun before I knew the stuff I know now. I don’t know if I’m supposed to do this, but I’m sneaking in a link to our class site. Just look at it and peruse all the articles and then think about students doing this, their individual blog, and their other classwork, maybe working at a job x hours a week, and trying to live a life. But also know, Lorelle probably does the work of all of us combined to design this course and do all her own stuff as well. Pretty awesome.

I just realized Lorelle’s like a pusher. (In a good way, but still.) And it’s making us all a little crazy and desperate! I ran into one of my classmates in the MacLab on campus yesterday, furiously hacking away at the assignments for this class, and I think smoke was coming out of his ears! It’s a lot of goddamn work, I’ll say again! We’re really being pushed here. The classic song by Steppenwolf, “The Pusher”, comes to mind. The pusher man pushes and pushes and makes you say “Goddamn the Pusher Man.”

Lorelle knows we love her, I think. But she’s going to wear these guinea pigs out! So I gotta say Goddamn, Lorelle. I said Goddamn. Goddamn…..

Read Part Five

The Guardians of Dargniion, part two

Read part one here…

Two days passed. On the two square miles in which the twenty-four ramshackle buildings of the Lakeshore Apartment Projects hunched and huddled darkly, all was quiet as a tomb. Fourteen-year-old Naith Threlt sat at his window, looking out and doing some hard thinking. He was in his bedroom in Building 18 of the Lakeshore Projects. The criminal quarantine was still in effect, but oddly, guardians were no longer storming through apartment after apartment. They continued to patrol in squads of eight , and had at least fifty officers stationed around the perimeter. But they no longer seemed to be questioning anyone.

Continue reading

The Guardians of Dargniion, part one

Dylan’s Note:  This short story is a prologue to a longer tale, but stands on its own I think. It’s not that funny, sorry about that. I’m going to post it in at least two parts, maybe three, as its about 7000 words in length. Of everything I’ve done in my (non-published) writing career, this one is probably the most indicative of what I want to do. SF action/adventure with a message.

It was the rookie, of course, who spotted the crime in progress.

Stop!” Allfeld cried out.

Startled, Guardian Tiroz pulled over the two-seat patrol cycle. His grey eyes, which bulged grotesquely from the faded indigo of his face, looked at the eager trainee with disgust.

Observe and call in, rookie,” the grizzled vet said wearily. “We’re only on a watch patrol. We’re not to stop.”

Trainee Allfeld was a physical contrast to the aged guardian in every way; the indigo of his skin was still dark and glistening and his black eyes and hair hadn’t a hint of grey. But the difference between the two partners was more than merely age.

I think they’re killing someone!” he informed his senior. “At least four, maybe five guys are beating up a girl by that corner!”

Continue reading

Wherein Your Humble Narrator Bitches and Moans: WordPressin’ 3

Entering the fourth week of the WordPress class with Lorelle, I feel I have a tangible growth of technical knowledge about what the WP site can do for a blogger. Normally, tangible growths are not a good thing. But this one seems to be expanding my mind, so we’ll see how it goes.

(This article is in a series! If you missed the first two, click here for part one, and here for part two. Click nothing to continue reading part three….)

Though I’m in my second quarter of Web Dev courses, I still feel more like a writer than a coder. All the programming minutiae are seeping through my layers of tech-idiocy, but its still not intuitive to me. I’m still stuggling to do simple screen captures and the like. So the article I’m working on for our class site is distinctly more text heavy than the other students. Theirs are loaded with snazzy graphics and even animations that I grasp how to do mentally, but wrestle with in practicality. Beginning to wonder if I’m wrong in my approach to this degree.

Continue reading

Why “TreatmentofVisions”? Huh? WTF Does it Mean?

So I’ll try to tell you what TreatmentofVisions means, okay? I’ve heard it seems a strange kind of title. People go “Why don’t you name your blog after yourself?” “Call it something normal”, is another suggestion I’ve gotten. (What is normal is an entirely different discussion, so I normally disengage from those kind of judgements.)  Others insist “Your title should be something funny!” I guess since the tone of most of my posts here are mostly humorous. I think those people actually make a good point; but, on the other hand, funny blog titles can make it seem that the writer doesn’t take their content very seriously. Let me tell you: even when I’m being funny, I’m serious as all fuck about it. (Try on that pair of paradox-pants!) Finally, some folk merely express confusion over the title of this blog, or simply never address the issue at all.

First of all, I’d like to suggest to you, gentle reader, to not overthink it. Despite the kind of serious tone of my blog title, this site is not some kind of academic wormhole of analyses and diatribes. I just post shit here. I didn’t overthink the title when I decided on it. The fact is, this blog was started as a college assignment. (If you go back to my earlier posts, you can kind of tell.) Everything was posted as a response to a class exercise or as drafts of essays we were working on. So, in that sense, the Treatment of my Visions would entail both the teacher’s grade and the comments from my classmates. Also, I would comment on their blogs and be very kind and encouraging and shit. I would treat everyone’s work with respect and constructive criticism (if required). So there’s that explanation.

Another thing is that Treatment of Visions makes me think of a bigger project that I am working on. Keeps it in my mind even if I’m not able to work on it as much as I would like to right now. So the title relates to a larger title, so to speak. I can’t talk much about that project yet. Stay tuned.

Image of cover of Dangerous Visions

image taken from Google Images

Someone out there might think of Dangerous Visions, a famous anthology of SF stories edited by Harlan Ellison.One of the most lauded and controversial (at the time) collections ever printed, this fantastic volume was first published in 1967 and remains in print to this day. If someone were to point out that I might have had this book in my subconscious while choosing my blog title, I couldn’t argue. I’ve been undoubtedly influenced by this collection, and all of the authors represented in it are SF giants. So there’s that, too

From a creative standpoint, I think of the posts I put up here as practice for publication, either on the web or print. Not quite rough drafts, but stuff not quite ready for prime time. In other words, treatments. Just because a story is on here doesn’t mean that’s the end of its life or that I’m finished with it. Hopefully, this is only the beginning. As far as my outbursts and mania, well, this is probably the only place for those mind-excretions. (You’re welcome for that glittering image.) Also, any feedback I get from my gentle readers is treatment. I’m not getting many comments yet, but please comment. Even if its “EEEEEWWWWW!” Everything is helpful to me at this point.

In short, that’s why “treatmentofvisions”. I didn’t really intend for it to be a permanent title, but now I’m accustomed to its presence, you know. So I think I’ll let it stay. Let me know if you have a strong opinion one way or the other in the comments if you like. Give me the treatment, gentle readers, you princes and princesses of the internet! See you later.