Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Sequel To The Atomic Bomb Movie...

I spent the weekend replacing elements from my software library whose disks were either stolen or lost over the last twenty years. I mean if you still have licenses and manuals for those items, legally you still own them even if the media upon which they came to you is no longer present.

In such a case I use a legal repository of historical software to replace the actual software itself while retaining the original license or serial number from my purchased disk version.

If I have problems running that software, I'll often use a virtual machine and run a virtual operating system such as Dos/Windows 3.1 from within my native Windows 10 x64 environment. Even backwards compatibility has its limits.

The legal repository in question is the Internet Archive (, a searchable historical library of nearly all software, media and texts in electronic format and treasure trove of everything distributed via a digital medium.

Of Trinity And Beyond

During my pursuits, I happened across Trinity And Beyond: The Atomic Bomb movie. This movie for those of you who haven't seen it is a historical account of the development of the atomic bomb, from its first tragic and only use(s) until the nuclear test ban treaty and ban on atmospheric testing of the 1970s. The movie remains quite neutral and apolitical about the whole thing and despite the nature of the content, one cannot help but be held captive by the devastating beauty of these explosions, the largest of which humankind has ever created. I'll get to the reasons why this film could be one of the most important movies ever made but first I'd like to discuss the idea of a sequel.

The movie managed to steer clear of the Bay of Pigs conflict and other cold war milestones while it kept to the topic: atomic weapons development and testing. Ironically in the absense of testing following the test ban treaties, atomic weaponry and the technology to deliver it continued to increase in both power and delivery platforms. The history of this growth beyond the end of Trinity is as much a related story itself as the development of the bomb itself. It was at this stage in the cold war that some of the most ambitious technology came about as a direct result of nuclear weaponry and led to the beginning of the transformation of the USSR into the more capitalist friendly Russia. The Star Wars program of the Reagan years pushed the arms race to new heights until the entire cold war itself collapsed. All of this, every single bit of it resulted from the development of the atomic bomb and despite the movie Trinity And Beyond covering that aspect of its birth, development and testing, it still hasn't finished telling the whole story. One only has to rewind to forty years ago to end up in a startlingly different world from the one we have today and despite the change that information technology brought with it, the real agent of the transformation of the world was the atomic bomb.

The sequel to Trinity And Beyond could tell this story in the same format: through archival test footage and interviews with the key players such as Edward Teller, Mikhail Gorbachev, staffers from the Reagan Administration all with the background aural texture of composers like Wilhelm Richard Wagner, Gagarin Holst and Modest Mussogorsky. I'm sure there are many compositions that would accurately fit the mood of that time period and the onscreen footage.

Of course something like this couldn't happen without the narrator from the first, whose voice really gave life to the story and experience. I won't say who but I will say that he's quite familiar with high energy explosions and dashing around the galaxy in a ship whose propulsion system is a direct descendant of the atomic bomb.

What makes the development of the most powerful weapon ever produced by humankind so important?

First of all, it may well have proven to save the entirety of our planet and our species and all other species. The technology developed to quantify its effects led directly to our ability to assess asteroidal body impact craters, meaning that we learned of the physics necessary to assess past impacts and learned as a result that "we're living in a shooting gallery" as Physicist Jay Melosh humourously put it.

I find it to be an incredible irony that the most devastating weapon ever developed by humankind might actually be what saves us. The impact of that understanding gives an important legacy to the deceased of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear detonations. Their lives paved the way for future generations to avert war and now it seems that as a result of these tragic events, that humanity may be able to save itself not only from itself but from a destructive asteroid impact not just by the use of nuclear weapons to nudge such an asteroid from trajectory likely to lead to impact, but also as a result of the fact that if we hadn't learned to recognize past impact craters as having originated from asteroids, we'd likely never have sounded the alarm and probably would eventually have been impacted without any warning whatsoever.

So Trinity And Beyond 2 or some other worthy title to the namesake of the first would be an important piece of history and very educational for the generations to come.

I don't know if a post on a controversial website like mine would make the difference and perhaps it is already being planned or in production (I could only hope). I mean, I am very much who I am, Brian Joseph Johns and not possessed by "free floating spirits" that have been liberated from the bodies of others, looking for physical hosts to possess, control through which to wreak havoc while other people in the guise of a dangerous cult erase the history and existence of the host perhaps perhaps for the purposes of eugenics (limiting one's options for procreation on the basis of preventing elements of their genes from finding their way into the greater gene pool of humankind).

Still, I humbly present this for your consideration.

Brian Joseph Johns

200 Sherbourne Street #701
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 3Z5



Oh, and I don't play guitar and I've never owned one.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Where's Fallout Next Generation?

I tried Fallout 76 about two months ago. I designed my character after a Chinese lady as I tend towards trying to push the presence of Women in video games though thankfully more and more I'm finding that Women are present in gaming, which is a great thing though I am no replacement for Women. All of you Women out there, please keep playing. We need you. You are the story and a part of us in any narrative experience.

I really enjoyed Fallout 3 (the one that takes place in the post WWIII era Washington DC). A great story with so many paths. Equally engrossing dialog delivered by the best voice talent in the industry (you'll literally hear them everywhere in media and popular culture). 

Fallout 3 was the best story in the Fallout series and spoke to a generation of people who'd figuratively grown up in a sheltered life, and whom were suddenly thrown into the world outside of their sheltered life into the wasteland. Amongst those who'd already learned to survive the hard way and many of whom were often less cerebral and more visceral as a result.

In this game world as it often does in the real world, that it felt that we were representing our origins (the people who protected from the turmoil of humanity within a bomb shelter) in the best way possible because we came from those bomb shelters ourselves and into a world that eats people like us alive and spits then spits out our bones before us before we're even dead.

The game is of course a fictitious United States that that never managed to escape McCarthyism. In this twisted parody of our own cold war reality, the paranoia against communism is twisted to become a war machine directed at the socialist threat of China. Watching the game's cutscenes and back story, its very easy to see that in this alternate version of history that the United States became as much monster as it had was the prey. The intense anti-communism rants delivered by the game's overly zealous giant killer robot of death aka Liberty Prime are a stark contrast to the means by which to save humanity which is essentially by working together with the various surviving factions of the post war world. The real irony is the fact that after the destruction resulting from a conflict of that level, the only real means to save humanity and life is ultimately social.

As if to throw a middle finger at this attitude of a McCarthyist attack against the culture of China, I often purposely designed my characters as being of Chinese descent. Remember that the story is not reality or the views of the creators but rather a statement and exploration of that post McCarthy era paranoia that preceded the cold war. In this creative world that paranoia becomes magnified ever more so while being the catalyst for an extensive propaganda campaign whose skeletons permeate the DC Wastes.

Meanwhile those who grew up under the direct difficulties of surviving from day to day had become hardened comparitively speaking, though often at the expense of being less cerebral and with an abandoned romanticism of virtue over pragma. After all, the first casualty of a falling out with one's sense of virtue is innocence. Fallout 3 was really the symbol of something that had been brewing since after the 1970s and represented by the likes of Donald Fagen in the album the Nightfly. 

The song New Frontiers is the epitomy of what games like Fallout 3 are about in terms of stylization, art direction, metaphor and the passing of the torch from one generation to the next.

Its really about getting into the bomb shelter and emerging with the same sense of optimistic innocence without losing it all while trying to make the world a better place for everyone and ensuring survival despite the abrasiveness of those who lived a much different life and perhaps learned the more difficult way. 

Not everyone grew up in the safety of a bomb shelter.  Some had to face the difficulties of life and survive no matter.

Recognizing the difference between the injury of hardship and the malice of purposeful ignorance is the key to survival, especially in the world of Fallout because survival isn't just about breathing, eating and sleeping. Its about preserving that aspect of our being that motivates us to persevere through the worst of difficulties and conflict in order to represent the best of what we had before we got into that bomb shelter. What our teachers, parents, friends, family and our inspirations of all sources had given us to share with those who sought the same peaceful prosperity and happiness.

Its also about us emerging from the shelter perhaps thinking that our sheltered life had somehow made us better than the kind of savagery we'd find in the wastes, only to learn that being sheltered does not necessarily mean having a full understanding of human compassion versus bigotry. Perhaps we emerged from the bomb shelters believing we were the saviors of a humanity that did not want to be saved by the product of a people who brought that catastrophe by its McCarthyist paranoia and xenophobia?

Sure there's action and violence (and guns) in the game but honestly, that has no context in the overall story when compared to pursuits like survival, freedom, liberty and prosperity that we experience through the story telling of Fallout 3 and our choices.

I mean within the game it was just as possible to be the scourge of the living as it was to be the saviour but the aspect of role playing that led to the consistency of our character with our goals was very well put together within the context and dialogue of the campaign story.

New Vegas added much to that as did Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 but quite honestly, it seems that there needs to be some attention paid to those generational experiences that define what it is to emerge from a bomb shelter surviving the conflicts that resulted from the spats of the last generation, all while preserving the goodness of what you've learned from those generation who put you in that shelter. More importantly though and often missed, its about understanding the fact that your sheltered life does not make you better or more keen towards values than those who had to deal with the daily challenges of survival in your absense. We've suddenly learned that in embracing that attitude of superiority because we were sheltered, that we actually became the McCarthyist shadows of our former progenitors.

Ironically though in Fallout 3, this story's fulcrum is hinged around the sense of moral responsibility represented by your deceased Mother and your living Father, both of whom have a passion for science and their responsibility to use their knowledge for the betterment of all humankind. In fact, it is your Father that results in that mission of self discovery and the relinquishing of ignorance, especially around the idea that you are somehow the "chosen" one to deliver the world from its savagery. Fallout 3 is a gem of metaphor, allegory and a love letter to the generation whom emerged from a sheltered life only to find that they were as much the students as they were the teachers.

In terms of many aspects of social life and symbolism, I'd say that there needs to be a re-examination of the symbolism of colour within the context of the human narrative and especially the media through which that symbolism is expressed. Certainly it is the most healthy and socially encouraging symbolism of colour that should become that representative.

Movie making (for both large and small screen) and gaming should be at the forefront of defining this, perhaps taking us away from the cliches and stigmas that have arisen from colour symbolism so that colours once again regain their unstigmatized vibrance and lack the association of anything that might skew our future. We need to be able to lift one another regardless of the definitions and stigmas that the symbolism of colours often constrained us to grow across boundaries and limits that humankind should have long since passed.

You know, there doesn't necessarly have to be an antagonist to be a protagonist. I mean really!!! 

We're living in the first fifth of the twenty first century! Do we still really need to define our merit by the vileness of others? Do we really need to push someone down into the gutter to make ourselves look that much better? Goodness and virtue is not relative in terms of light versus darkness. I mean, creating our opposite for the purpose of making ourselves appear better is something that we need to transcend and to level up as sentient beings.

That's the optimism of Donald Fagen's New Frontiers. Maybe some day soon, we'll receive another Fallout that echoes that kind of impact in terms of story telling and player experience. 

Fallout 76 is pretty good, but quite honestly we need that next generation Fallout 3, that gives voice to the most recent generation who are stepping out of the shelter that my generation built while doing everything to carry over the best of what we'd learned from those who built ours.

Alright. This is the beginning of my effort to repair Shhhh! Digital. Don't pay attention to colour symbolism presented in the screen shots above or in my picture. Think along the lines that colours don't really mean anything from past cliches or stigmas. 

I mean, you wouldn't want to end up with a cliche, stigma or burden that had nothing to do with you or the best of the people who made your shelter would you?

This post is brought to you and its message is brought to you by the generation of artists at SomaFM. Quite honestly, I've been listening to SomeFM for a very long time (at least as long as I have been Seattle's Groove Tech and DJ Chloe on Real Player).

Please if you can, support this incredible group of music stations whose venue is aural artists of every imagining. 

SomaFM commercial free internet radio

There's more to come here though this post is done.

Brian Joseph Johns

200 Sherbourne Street #701
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 3Z5



Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pride Toronto 2019

Its been a while and I've been making efforts here (and at home) to clean up as it were.

This post is mostly to address the fact that I've reposted most of the stories, which I'd taken offline from about two months ago while I collected myself.

So the majority of A Lady's Prerogative and The Butterfly Dragon material has been relinked and can now be read at your convenience.

As many of you know if you've read Bella's Tarot Reading, I am a supporter of the LGBTQ(2?) community and had Barris and other characters experience life as a member of the opposite sex for a short time. It was my tribute to other writers who've explored the same topic, some of which include Robert A. Heinlein and Lex Gigeroff (of the hit scifi television series Lexx).

This support isn't the result of mystical influence or any other mode by which someone might entice a person into a viewpoint that is different from that of their own being. I mean if you have to give up your own identity and being to protect someone else's rights, then in fact human rights have not progressed at all. Instead they've become conditional at the cost of someone else's. Besides, if I was being say... mesmerized into doing someone else's bidding, it most likely would be of a Woman's doing. I won't elaborate on that.

In addition, most Canadians will be celebrating Canada Day over the June 29 long weekend with Monday being the holiday. I'd like to wish all of you a Happy Canada day and would ask that you please consider the plight of indigenous Women around the country especially with regard to what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to as a genocide. I personally wrote to the Rt Hon. Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about this issue from 2012. What really disgusts me about this issue is that there are people who use this situation and its publicity to promote crack cocaine, by associating Indigenous Women with its consumption for the benefit of those involved in importing and distributing the narcotic. Completely disgusting that any group of people would lower themselves to that level by resting it upon the laurels of Indigenous Women and using their genocide to promote narcotics such as crack cocaine.

So this Canada Day, please consider these aspects of our society and consider how we should move forward in preventing the victimation of Indigenous Women and in our efforts to protect human rights  including those of the LGBTQ(2) community at home and abroad.

Happy Canada Day and Happy Birthday Canada!

Brian Joseph Johns

200 Sherbourne Street #701
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 3Z5