The End.

Exactly!Everything that has a beginning has an ending.

As it has been written, and promised, and prophesied, so it is, and so it has come to pass: This is the last post for Counterforce. I’m going to try to avoid any melodramatics or perceived grief or anything like that because I’ve sure done enough with it in the past, and hey, it’s just a fucking blog on the internet, right?

But I’ll miss it. And I’ll miss you, and doing blog shit with the people I did blog shit with here.

The end is not near, its here.

I think Counterforce was fun, but flawed. I don’t think it ever reached its potential, and I think it’s safe to say that the blame for that lays entirely with me. So, to that I would say: Sorry, everybody.

But also thanks. There were some good times and fun things to read/look at. Thanks, Benjamin Light. Thanks, Peanut St. Cosmo. Thanks, Occam Razor. Thanks, August Bravo. And thanks, Maria, whom we stuck with the name Lollipop Gomez. I hope you guys had some fun too.

Anyway. It’s the end, but not totally. Benjamin Light do two podcasts which are very much in the spirit of Counterforce, and which you’ve probably heard of on here before: Time Travel Murder Mystery and Greedo Shot First.

Listen to our fucking podcasts! Plz.

Right now TTMM is on a brief hiatus, and could return as early as next week, though it will certainly be back sometime in the next few weeks. Greedo Shot First just posted its latest episode today, in which we rewatch one of our favorite movies ever, The Empire Strikes Back, so go check it out in iTunes.

The corridor of lights

And we’ll follow that next week or the week after with an episode about rewatching Return Of The Jedi.

It’s kind of sad that I won’t be able to plug our podcasts here anymore. Or talk about any of the other things I had planned to ramble on about it, but… oh well. Tomorrow, like today, is another day in a brand new year. I’m sure there’ll be more opportunities. And other spaces, other places.

We’ll meet again. Don’t know how, don’t know when…

One last thing and then I’ll shut up for, well, a while (at least here): I’m going to go rewatch the last episode of Lost right after I hit “Post” on this post. I feel like our love for that show so strongly informed this blog and we bounced back and forth between it so much. I don’t mind telling you that the day we did our post on the last episode of the show, that was the day we got the most hits ever on this blog. So I guess a lot of people’s hearts were either filled or burst along with the passing of the last truly great television show too. It just feels right to go watch that after this, at least to me.

Oh well.

Thanks again. For everything. I’m glad the blog is over, because it mattered to me, and I’m glad to start something else. Hopefully we’ll see you there at the beginning of that.

-Marco Sparks

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

Tzimtzum, or: Here There Be Tygers.

Grrrrrr.

I saw the Life Of Pi today. Just a few quick thoughts…

1. It was good. I have never read the book, and usually avoid even transcendentally good and well hyped books if reviewers promise that they’ll make me believe in God. It’s not that I’m worried about being brainwashed or that I can’t see the quality in the writing or story even if I don’t buy into the message or belief system, but it’s usually that I have eviler, and usually more stupider things to read. Ha ha!

2. I can gather, in a similar vein, that the film is very close in its adaptation of the novel, but leaves the novel’s ending less ambiguous. No spoilers here, not til the last thought.

Bioluminescent.

3. The film is really quite good, and I say that having had no expectations of it going into it. I mostly went into this film, curious to see what was going on since you’re already hearing a lot of potential Oscar buzz to it. The Oscar buzz isn’t off the mark.

4. This definitely will be (or at least should be) a Best Picture nominee. I wouldn’t be upset if it was a Best Picture winner, either. Also, best cinematography, which is possibly a no brainer since so many of the visuals are just gorgeous. I want to see Lincoln nominated for Best Picture, but I think that Life Of Pi is certainly a better film, which is saying a lot. Also, Irrfan Khan deserves a Best Supporting Male Actor nomination, and possibly a win.

5. As for the ending, and here there possibly will be SPOILERS: I took something slightly different away from this movie – which is one that you’ll walk away from needing to do some thinking on – than others, I believe. When the narrator of the tale, the older Pi, gives the Writer a choice between which of the two stories he prefers: the one that is mostly like the real story, the grim tale of human beings under extreme duress, or the tale full of magical realism and refugee animals sailing across the ocean, the Writer of course chooses the story of the boy and the tiger. That is, of course, the story that anyone would choose or prefer. The inference there seems to be that therein lies God’s existence. We create God. We bring our lives to him, the details, and we weave a powerful watcher of our existence, and find the meaning there, in the fiction, not so much in the way our lives were lived, but in the way our lives are retold.

The life of Calvin.

Contact.

It’s 365 years later and the end of another year. Was it a good one? A bad one? A combination of the two? Did you make “contact” with something?

from here.

Are you optimistic about the future? What about just tomorrow? What about just tonight? What do you think when you look back on this year that just ended? Are things going according to your plans or are you finding yourself constantly delivered into new and different and exciting and altogether unforeseeable outcomes? Are we living in the future? Or are we just dreamers lost in our own magic spells and writing the story as we trip over the words and the lines and the chapter breaks?

Do you have more questions than answers, or vice versa? Which do you prefer more, sunrises or sunsets? Beginnings or endings? Or are they intrinsically tied together, just like all of us, in the grand scheme of things?

Just curious.

This was an interesting year. As much one full of little victories and joys as it was of big failures and sadness. For me, at least. Things happened. The players moved the pieces across the chessboard. The game continued. It was exciting, it was heart breaking, and sometimes it was just one or just the other, and sometimes it was both. The wheel kept turning.

from here.

Next year is possibly the year before the year the world ends, and that kind of puts everything into some kind of perspective.

If you’re reading this now or read it before, then some kind of contact was made. With you, with us, with it, with “the other,” with nothing and everything and anything that falls in between all of that.

It’s really up to you there, though. It’s all subjective. Just as you choose your own level of involvement in all things (but especially the future), you also bring your own meaning to the equation. In the end we’ll all be getting exactly what we what. The angels of tomorrow will all be speaking the same language: glossolalia.

Things can seem small in one moment and in one kind of light, and loom large in another. Understanding has to be unearthed and earned and meaning was to be extrapolated. We keep guessing, we keep surmising, we keep poking and attempting things and shining our torches into the dark.

And if there’s something out there, then have no fear, we’ll find it.

The batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got away…

I’m sure I said something similar to this as a kid:

You know?

In fact, as a kid, Christmas left me with more questions than anything else. Looking back on it now, I adore it’s innocent, silly magic, the inherent wonder that comes with the whole season, and the basic premise of Santa Claus, the North Pole, elves building toys for probably slave-like wages, and reindeer and shit, but I remember as a kid… not so much thinking that it was bullshit, but being confused by the holes in the story, the things that just blatantly didn’t make sense or jive with, you know, reality and what have you.

from here.

Sometimes it was just semantics and logistical things that perplexed me, but sometimes it tended more towards the philosophical…

But I guess somewhere in there the ideals and notions I have about the season now – be them naive, hopeful, confused, tattered, reaching, labored, dreamy, and all ultimately cynical – were born:

from here.

Oh well. Hope you had a great one!

The intimidating and impenetrable fog.

“Writers take words seriously – perhaps the last professional class that does – and they struggle to steer their own through the crosswinds of meddling editors and careless typesetters and obtuse and malevolent reviewers into the lap of the ideal reader.”

-John Updike

A few things for you:

1. Acoustic listening devices devised by the Dutch army…

…intended for use in air defense systems between the two World Wars.

2. Artist Lynda Barry who serialized her graphic novel ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS!, a work of “Autobiofictionalography,” on Salon a while back, and had a famous story in it entitled “Head Lice and My Worst Boyfriend.” Anyway, the worst boyfriend of the title has finally been revealed

…to be Ira Glass. It makes a kind of sense.

3. One of my favorite quotes about the art of words and the artists who do damage and paint portraits with it is, unsurprisingly, by this man right here…

…and it goes something like this:

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning.”

-Mark Twain, in a letter to George Bainton in 1888.

4. The Man Men comic book…

that never was.

5. There is an old, abandoned town in the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia that one can only access by the sea or the air…

…and it’s called Bechyovinka, the submariner’s town.

Anyway. Something to think about on your Sunday night. Personally, I’m in a bit of a fog, if you couldn’t already tell…

“The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!”

-Bill Watterson