Tag: Blonde

Day 1000: How It Ends

Header

Inside this cubicle the air is thick as honey, with asphyxiating flecks of the mundane bracing against the irrefutable promise of a golden weekend. Outside these pin-cushion partitions – and indeed inside as well – every tiny molecule in the universe is saying its goodbyes to its neighbors and preparing to splash into the unknown permutations of a distant someday. My fingers hammer at these tiny plastic letters, fully ignorant of what’s to come.

Or are they? The hallowed fingers of esteemed science – no doubt similar in size and shape to my own, only tasked with a far more specific purpose – have combed back the hair of the observable now and picked at the scalp-nits of projection. The fields of astronomy, physics, mathematics, and a cabinet full of –ologies have given us a map of what’s to come. A timeline of time’s last hurrah.

And the best part? If any of these predictions are wrong, every record of them will likely be destroyed before anyone finds out. That’s my kind of science.

Genetics-1

Within 10,000 years, human genetic variation will no longer be regionalized. This won’t mean we’ll all look the same – the blonde gene will still speckle crowds and set up offensive jokes, but it will be distributed equally worldwide. This forecasted panmixia is far more optimistic than astrophysicist Brandon Carter’s Doomsday Argument, which places our present at roughly the halfway point of humankind’s civilized journey, and projects a 95% likelihood that we’ll be wholly extinct in 10,000 years.

If global warming hasn’t already soaked us into a Kevin Costner-esque hellscape by then, we may also be facing the melting of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which will raise the sea levels by 3 or 4 meters above wherever it will be once we lose the rest of the polar ice caps, which should happen long before then.

Long term forecast: buy a big-ass boat. Read more…

Day 977: The Last American Witch

Header

In the throes of one of America’s most delightfully absurd episodes of mass hysteria, twenty people were executed in 1692-93 for the crime of probably being witches. Maybe. The Salem Witch Trials – which were merely the American performance of a fad that had been lighting it up in Europe for decades – have leaked into all formats of American high art: poems, novels, movies, and a segment of The Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror VIII” episode.

But while we, the sophisticated and wise citizenry of the modern age, can look back upon our ancestral paranoia with a wry titter, our bubbly sense of smug urbanity goes flat upon learning that witch trials are still happening in 2014. So-called witch-children were slaughtered in the Congo in 1999. An angry Kenyan mob burned eleven suspected sorcerers in 2008. In India, it’s estimated that between 150 and 200 women are lynched each year for being witches – some are accused of such simply because they turned down a sexual advance.

This is an era in which a car can pilot you to your destination while you restructure your fantasy football league in the back seat, and people still freak out over witchcraft? Fortunately, the good ol’ U.S. of A. has evolved significantly in the last 321 years. In fact, there hasn’t been an actual case of witchcraft accusation since… wait, 1970?

FlowingWellsHigh-1

Welcome to Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Arizona; a solid 6/10 on the national GreatSchools rating system, and home of the Mustangs. It’s also the kind of place where a rumor can be as dangerous as a drunk holding a lit match in a tumbleweed factory. This fact became evident in the aftermath of a late 1969 visit by Dr. Byrd Granger from the University of Arizona. Yes, this story about witchcraft features a woman named Granger – Harry Potter fans, feel free to rejoice. This prof happened to be an expert on witchcraft and folklore, and was happy to pass on her knowledge to the local juniors and seniors. Read more…

Day 320: Tony Pezsnecker – The Stockiest Stock Character Ever

As a writer who specializes in essays about insubstantial trivia, I’m thinking it’s time I delve into the world of fiction. As such, I have decided to craft the perfect protagonist. Once that step is done, I expect the actual story will fall into place easily, hopefully while I’m asleep.

Like any good writer, I am turning to Wikipedia in hopes of developing my character’s personality and substantial uniqueness. I’m kind of new at this, but I’m pretty sure stock characters are a bad idea, at least for the hero of the story. Still, every single stock character combined into one has to be a good thing, right? Naturally. And with Wikipedia providing me with a list of 124 stock characters, I should have no problem melding each of them into the perfect leading man.

With that in mind, I present: Tony Pezsnecker, protagonist of my upcoming novel, The Shadowy Stranger Of Shadow (working title).

But – and let’s be honest here – it’s an awesome title.

Tony’s father was a mountain man – a yokel by Tony’s metropolitan standards, though Tony always saw him as a wise old man, dishing out advice in easily-digestible nuggets. Roy Pezsnecker was the straight man, setting up his mother’s gags with aplomb and perfect timing.

Tony’s mother was a little tougher to figure out. Dori was a blonde stereotype: a bimbo hooker with a heart of gold. A southern California native, she was a typical valley girl (though the boys who went to high school referred to her as an Essex girl because she knew how to handle herself in a parked car, and because these boys were particularly adept at using British colloquialisms). She may have been Tony’s dad’s Princesse lointaine, his manic Pixie dream girl, his girl next door, farmer’s daughter, Mary Sue type, but she had a dark side, and Tony knew it well as a child. Read more…