Thursday, 23 November 2017

"SURVIVORS": A Poem Inspired By The 1951 Sci-Fi Film, "Five"




SURVIVORS


From Big Ben to the Eiffel Tower

Doomsday warnings wail hour after hour:
Imminent collapse of the human race!
And in a flash the world is laid to waste.



A shocked raggedy-doll stumbles and staggers

Along aimless paths seeking survivors,
While calling out plaintive piteous pleas
Of, “Can anyone help me please!”



The path leads Raggedy-doll to another:

A sensitive Poet and Philosopher
Waving absurdity laid bare and unfurled
Of a once cheap honky-tonk of a world.


Here comes a beetle-browed financier,
Well – just a mere assistant cashier
Counting out a life paid in denial and delusion;
Here he enters in wide-eyed confusion.

Supporting him is the Black Samaritan
Strong of shoulder, pride and passion,
Who once dreamt of being something
more,
Only to end up minding a door.


“I am one who was once blind but can now see;
Who once had settled for a piece of security
In a city where I had never seen the lights,
Nor till now what is important in life.”

The four soon become five
When they save one just barely alive,
Through iron willed-soul so black and depraved
And from whom they will have to be saved.

Beetle-brow cashier now on vacation
Has arrived at his final destination
Which he has yearned for in his dreams
For a whole life-time to him it seems.

“I often dreamt of going on vacation,
But my work was my life’s obligation.
And so I sat behind self-made prison bars
Dreaming of sleeping under the stars!”


The need is felt to stay alive 
As once again four become five 
When Raggedy-doll gives birth to future hope 
Without which our survivors would not cope. 

Iron-will’s hope hides in a fascist fantasy 
That seeks salvation through supremacy 
By force of power, violence and destruction: 
And all that sow the seeds of annihilation. 

“I climbed Mt. Everest. I alone. Always alone. 
And there I’ll sit atop the mountain on my throne 
Invincible and possessed of a special immunity 
With a plundered world spread out below me!”

Clinging to his tattered rags of self-delusion, 
Iron-will’s life force leaks away with the radiation 
Of an inner poison of violence and domination, 
That once robbed a new world of a wise Samaritan.


What of the Poet, Raggedy-doll and Future Hope?
Will they leave behind the Past’s mistakes as they grope
Their way to a new Eden that heals and mends;
Where people work together, live together, like friends?



*****************

Thanks for reading my little poem inspired by and based on the science fiction film,






©Chris Christopoulos 2017

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Blob (1958)



Although not a masterpiece, this film is a cultural gem


Practically nothing is known about an incident that occurred in a small rural town in Pennsylvania in July 1957. It involved a mysterious extra-terrestrial blob-like entity that crashed to Earth inside a meteorite. Not only that, but the alien entity turned out to be both aggressive and destructive as it set about devouring and dissolving the citizens of this small rural community.

Almost nothing is also known about the then teenage pair, Steve Andrews and his girlfriend, Jane Martin who witnessed the crash of the meteorite and who set about investigating it. As the teenage pair witnessed the alien creature’s destructive power, they faced the problem of being confronted by a wall of adult skepticism and anger. Meanwhile, the blob continued to engulf more and more people, while growing bigger and bigger……



Directed by Irvin Yeaworth
Produced by Jack H. Harris
Written by Kay Linaker, Theodore Simonson
Story by Irving H. Millgate
Music by Ralph Carmichael, Burt Bacharach
Cinematography Thomas E. Spalding
Edited by Alfred Hillmann
Production company: Fairview Productions, Tonylyn Productions, Valley Forge Films
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Running time: 86 minutes
Budget: $110,000
Box office: $4 million


Cast


Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews
Aneta Corsaut as Jane Martin
Earl Rowe as Lieutenant Dave
Olin Howland as Old Man
Stephen Chase as Dr. Hallen
John Benson as Sergeant Jim Bert
George Karas as Officer Ritchie
Lee Payton as Kate
Elbert Smith as Mr. Martin
Hugh Graham as Mr. Andrews
Keith Almoney as Danny Martin





Trailer


Read on for more....

Saturday, 11 November 2017

MICRO-CHIP CHIPPING AWAY AT PRIVACY


SCIENCE-FICTION BECOMES SCIENCE FACT


By Amal Graafstra (ishmell) - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87190


Just the other week I listened to a brief report on the radio concerning the possibility of people having an RFID micro-chip inserted in their hand to do such things as;
  • operate household appliances and cars
  • securely gain access to one’s place of residence by means of swiping a hand over a sensor
  • having all personal information stored on the micro-chip
  • using the inserted micro-chip to conduct transactions in much the same way as one would normally do these days using a mobile device.
“So what?” You may ask. The idea of having micro-chips inserted into the human body for various reasons has been a staple of science-fiction for quite some time.

There have even been reports of companies providing access to such micro-chip implant technology to their employees free of charge.

It seems that such a technological advancement is a logical extension of the current portable nature of our ever-present wireless devices, together with our dependence on them.


Such technological integration may even be a first step along a new path for human evolution to take away from a purely biologically-based form of evolution which may have reached a dead end.

What really grabbed my attention was that at the end of the report, the news reader’s on-air colleague responded by exclaiming with a comment like, “Wow! That would be great!”


True, such a development would be convenient, but it would also be potentially dangerous if we just choose to focus on the ‘Wow’ factor without stepping back a moment and taking the time to consider the likely implications for us individually and for society as a whole.



By Feline_identifying_microchip.JPG: Joelmillsderivative work: Hundehalter - This file was derived fromFeline identifying microchip.JPG:, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22623473

Micro-chip implant technology has become normalized in various countries as far as pet ownership is concerned. In such places, it is a requirement to have pets microchipped so that their medical treatment history can be accessed, their whereabouts traced, and ownership verified.

What if such implant technology becomes normalized for human beings? Sure, it may initially be offered free of charge in some work places or it might start off on a voluntary basis in the wider community. However, over time you could count on it becoming a compulsory requirement, possibly under the guise of national security or anti-fraud and anti-identity theft measures.


We may also find that along-side the required necessary vaccinations we receive as infants, there will also be a requirement to have a micro-chip implant on which all our personal data will be recorded and periodically updated.

The nature and extent of such recorded personal data, along with who could gain access to it ought to be of concern. Then there is the question of whether such technology could be used by those in authority to track and monitor the movements and activities of individuals.

We may indeed find ourselves having to agree (between gritted teeth) that such a development is “great.” Especially if we wish to be able to function in this brave new world - to do such things as obtain a loan, to gain employment, to receive benefits and assistance, to communicate, to gain access to information and resources and so on. In return for all this convenience, all we need to do is acquiesce and hand over our right to personal privacy…and possibly more….Is this the kind of world we would want for ourselves and our children?






©Chris Christopoulos 2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)


A sci-fi film so terrible yet so much fun to watch!

Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by Bernard Woolner
Written by Mark Hanna
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography: Jacques R. Marquette
Edited by Edward Mann
Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation
Running time: 66 minutes
Budget: $89,000
Box office: $480,000 (USA)



Cast


Allison Hayes as Nancy Fowler Archer
William Hudson as Harry Archer
Yvette Vickers as Honey Parker
Roy Gordon as Dr. Isaac Cushing
George Douglas as Sheriff Dubbitt
Ken Terrell as Jess Stout
Otto Waldis as Dr. Heinrich Von Loeb
Eileen Stevens as Nurse
Michael Ross as Tony the Bartender/Giant
Frank Chase as Deputy Charlie


Trailer


The husband of an unhappily married rich socialite returns to her after having left her only because he now needs money. Meanwhile, philandering hubby, Harry happily continues his affair with another woman aptly maned, Honey Parker. After an explosive confrontation at a bar, his wife, Nancy drives off until she encounters a large spherical object on the road. The object’s sole occupant is an enormous alien……

Despite rumours of UFOs in the area, will anyone believe Nancy?
What effect will Nancy’s close encounter have on her?

Read on for more