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Monday, October 24, 2016

What Parents Need to Know About The Goth Subculture


Your kids are dressing in Black.

They’re talking about vampires, bats, and black cats.

They’re reading books by Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Rice, watching horror movies, and listening to bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, and London After Midnight.

They’re playing with Oujia boards and hanging out in the cemetery and other spooky places.

Relax. You don’t have anything to worry about. Your kid is just a Goth.

What is a Goth? A Goth is a person who has a darker view of the world. They see the beauty in things most people would find macabre, strange or unusual.

Many parents who aren’t Goth or aware of what the Goth Subculture is come up with preconceived notions about it from their own frame of reference. And that limited perspective has them making generalizations about Goths that aren’t true.

Many parents who are religious often believe that Goths are into Satanism and that their kids are part of a group of Satanists. While many Goths wear religious symbols like pentagrams, devil’s horns and ankhs, the Goth subculture has absolutely nothing to do with any religion.

While quite a few Goths wear religious symbols in their jewelry and clothing, many are Agnostic. Quite a few are Christian. Some are Jewish and some are Muslim. In most cases when Goths wear religious symbols it’s not about religion. It’s to make an ironic statement. Sometimes to make a satirical one.

Some Goths may collect oddities such as animal bones, jewelry made from animal bones or taxidermy items. However this isn’t a sign of antisocial behavior. When Goths buy these items they usually buy them from reputable businesses and make sure that the animal died of natural causes.

No Goth believes in harming animals. In fact, many Goths love animals and many have pets. If an animal is being harmed by someone, oftentimes Goths who will make an effort to speak out about it or tell the local authorities about the person participating in animal cruelty.

While Goths have a darker view of the world, they aren’t dangerous. Most Goths are pacifistic and don’t believe in violence. In many cases if there’s a disagreement Goths usually will agree to disagree.

In the forty plus years the Goth subculture hasn’t been a single act of violence attributed to Goths. In most cases when there’s an event like a Goth night at a club or a coffee house or a concert featuring an act with a Goth band such as The Cure, it usually comes and goes without incident. That can’t be said about many rap concerts or rock concerts around the world.

Some parents believe that Goths are a gang. Others believe Goths are cult. However, Goth isn’t either of those things. Goth is a subculture. And because Goth is a subculture people are free to come and go as they wish.

For some kids Goth is a phase. And they find they don’t like it after a year or two. For others it becomes a way of life.

 Unlike gangs and cults, no one recruits anyone to become a Goth. No one forces anyone to become a Goth. People choose to be a part of the Goth subculture because they want to be a part of it. In many cases kids participate in the Goth subculture because they have a darker view of the world and want to share that view like minded people.

And that darker view doesn’t mean evil. Most Goths see a positive to many things people see as macabre, strange or unusual. And they go out of their way to show the good in those things people perceive as evil.

While I was writing the Romance Spinsterella and the Young adult/Teen novel Spellbound I spent three years learning about the Goth Subculture. And after listening to the music, watching thousands of hours of YouTube videos from Goths all over the world, and talking to numerous Goths both young and old I can honestly tell parents they have nothing to worry about if their kids are part of the Goth subculture. If anything, the Goth subculture is one of the safest places a kid could be.

I’d be more worried about a kid into rap and hip-hop than a kid who’s into Goth. Because most kids into rap and hip hop often get involved with with gun, gangs, drugs, crime, and violence in an effort to get street cred. The most a mischievous BabyBat will do is try to buy some wine or try to buy a cigarette. And in quite a few cases older Goths will check them. Oftentimes older Goths will try to help younger Goths understand that their behavior not only reflects badly on them, but on the whole subculture overall.

In many cases kids come into the Goth subculture because they like the music. Some come in because they like the fashion. However quite a few become a part of the subculture through other hobbies and interests. Many Goths are comic fans. Some are Anime and Manga fans. Others are wrestling fans. And they discover what’s great about the Goth subculture from friends who share those hobbies.

I’ve seen Goths at comicons, the library and out and about here in New York City.  They’re not brooding. They’re not angry. In most cases they’re smiling, having fun and living life to the fullest. In most cases they’re some of the nicest people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. If most parents saw them in public they’d be the kinds of kids they’d be proud to call their son or daughter.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Isis: Samurai Goddess Color Concept.

 While I finish up the first draft of E’steem Little Girl Lost I had enough time to color the concept for my Isis: Samurai Goddess cover. So here’s what kind of colors I’d like the cover to have.

The inspiration for the Isis: Samurai Goddess cover is Quentin Tarentino’s: Kill Bill movies. In my cover concept a smiling and determined Isis in a karate stance is facing off against The Manga Girls and their boss Cassandra Kachimura in a Japanese garden. The Manga girls are dressed up in school uniforms inspired by Go-Go Yubari. And Cassandra Kachimura is dressed up in formal Japanese Kimono similar to O-Ren Ishii. Like Isis: Bride of Dracula I’m planning a brightly colored cover with LOTS of ACTION!

Next week will start my promotion for Spellbound. And I’ll be writing a series of blogs about the Goth Subculture. Right now you can get Spellbound in Paperback and catch up on the Isis series with the AWESOME Bride of Dracula!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Deleted Chapter Bullshit- How Simps Communicate On The Job

I’ve been busy writing E’steem: Little Girl Lost for the past week, and running ideas for the Spellbound promotional videos and blogs in my mind. So I haven’t been able to write a blog for today. So here’s another deleted Chapter of STOP SIMPIN In the Workplace!

Deleted Chapter
Bullshit- How Simps Communicate On The Job

In the workplace people have to be direct and straightforward in the way they talk to each other. To get things done on the job they have to say exactly what they want and how they want it done.
Unfortunately, Simps are extremely poor communicators. Thanks to the matriarchal way they’ve been raised they don’t know how to talk to their co-workers in a way that gets them to understand what they want done or how they want it done.
If anyone on the job asks a Simp a simple question they won’t get a simple yes or no answer. Instead they’ll give them a long-winded reply filled with jargon and fifty cent words. It’ll sound intelligent. But in most cases it won’t answer the question asked.
Most Simps are masters of Bullshiting. What is bullshiting? It’s where people talk around a subject but never really address it. Bullshiters speak and write in ambiguous terms. They attempt to impress people by using fifty-cent words when a ten cent one will do.
Trying to understand Bullshit is like trying to decipher a foreign language. Because one has to read between the lines of what a bullshitter is saying in order to get things done. That can make the simplest task an almost impossible one to complete. Having to deal with business policies created by bullshitters turns work into a nightmare. With all the rules, stipulations, and technicalities a bullshitting Simp puts into things he turns the simplest tasks into a chore and slows down productivity. A simple e-mail a receptionist turning a light switch off at five o’clock can turn into a ten-page document. And a visit to a client turns a one-page two paragraph memo into a three-hundred page book.
Simps use bullshit in offensive and defensive ways on the job. Offensively a Simp will use bullshit to put co-workers on guard. He’ll brag about his degrees, his skills and his contacts. The goal of these offensive attacks are to make himself appear smarter than he actually is. A Simp hopes that if co-workers and managers are intimidated by his big talk lower level employees won’t think to challenge him at the company and higher level ones will consider him for promotion.
 Defensively a Simp uses bullshit to avoid conflict. When confronted about a problem regarding something he’s responsible for, a Simp uses bullshit to apply his approaches of lying, denying, hiding and deflecting. A Simp believes if he can give someone an overcomplicated answer filled with big words and jargon they’ll back away from them and won’t hold them accountable for their actions.
And with female co-workers a Simp uses bullshit in an effort to impress them. The Simp hopes the combination of his big words, designer clothes, and expensive car will make him look like a he’s someone important she needs to pay attention to. Unfortunately, in most cases all he’s doing is putting a big red target on his back letting predatory females know he’s a sucker with fat pockets ready to be picked through trickin.
Most smart people on the job who can filter through a Simp’s big talk will just understand he’s full of shit. Once a smart person listens to what a Simp is saying, and looks past the fa├žade of designer clothes and starts looking at the Simp’s poor track record on the job they start to realize there’s more crap coming out of his mouth than out of his ass.
Simps just don’t understand that on the job talk is means nothing. Action speaks louder than words. The man who can get things done on the job and do it well will be more valuable to a company in the long term than the man who just blows smoke up people’s asses with his hot air. 
In order to get things done at work people KEEP IT SIMPLE. There’s a time and a place for the fifty-cent words. But the job isn’t it. On the job people have to be CLEAR about exactly what they want and how they want it done.
 In business a person has to say exactly what they want the FIRST time. In the workplace people have no time for bullshit. Workers use ten-cent words on the job because time is money. And the time it takes to figure out what a Simp is saying in a hundred page report filled with fifty-cent words is time a competitor is using to get ahead.
Thanks to his constant use of bullshit, a Simp usually winds up lost and directionless on the job. Because he can’t state clearly what he wants to others, his co-workers wind up not understanding what his purpose is in the workplace and start working around him instead of working with him. Due to a Simp’s inability to communicate effectively with others, he his career usually winds up stalling at a dead end.
 If a man doesn’t tell people exactly what he wants on the job, they’ll never be able to get anything done there. Men who clearly state what they want in simple language can find help and support from their co-workers in not only getting work done, but advancing themselves towards their professional and personal goals.

 STOP SIMPIN IN THE WORKPLACE is coming Black Friday to Kindle and Smashwords! Pre-order your copy Today! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Spellbound Now Available in Paperback!

ISBN-13 978-1535308755
Retail Price $18.00

Sixteen-year-old Matilda Crowley lives on the dark side of being light skinned. When a series of events sends the biracial teenager further down the Tragic Mulatto’s road to Hell, she enters the world of the Goth Subculture and begins a journey that will change her perceptions of race, culture, and identity. Will she find light in darkness? Or will she be driven to madness?

The official relase date of Spellbound is still Halloween! But to give paperback readers an opportunity to have their copy of Spellbound on Halloween along with people who purchase the eBook editions, I’m publishing the paperback edition NOW! Get your copy TODAY!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Shawn Reviews the Arrow Season 5 Premiere

I watched Arrow’s Season 5 premiere expecting the worst. After nearly two and a half years of absolutely wretched storytelling from Seasons 2.5-4 I was expecting a croquembouche shitpile of a start for the Berlantiverse flagship. But to my surprise, the premiere showed me that there’s a chance for Arrow to actually turn the corner and actually start being a watchable show again.

In the aftermath of Seaon 4’s dreadful finale, Oliver now is the Mayor of Star City. And The Original Team Arrow is no more. Now Oliver is training a new group of heroes (Wild Dog, Mr. Terrific and a female to be named later) to be his new Team Arrow.

Oh, and Ragman pops up to join the team. When obscure DC characters pop up in a DC show it’s always a good thing.

I guess we need to stop calling this show Arrow and start calling it Green Arrow and The Outsiders. Because that’s what this show looked like in the season premiere.

And this year’s big villain is Prometheus, another Batman villain from the Morrison Era of the JLA. Yeah, Ollie killed him in the comics, but he’s more associated with Batman than Green Arrow. But JLA Villians in Arrow. Another plus.

There’s a subplot featuring John Diggle being framed while on a mission for the military. Don’t know where this is going but it looks intriguing.  

This year’s flashbacks take us back to Oliver’s time with the mysterious Bratva, and him learning a new way of training. The longer this show stays on Oliver’s origin gets more ridiculous and more convoluted. First there was the island, then he worked with Amanda Waller. For a guy whose comic book origin was as simple as learning how to shoot arrows on an island, his training is becoming as intricate and complex as Batman’s.

While the writing looks like it’s turned a corner on Arrow, I’m a little disappointed at how much of Green Arrow’s history had to be sacrificed to get to this point. Five years in, I don’t think we’ll ever see the real Oliver Queen show up on this show. You know the prickly liberal who fights for the little guy and tries to make time to have romance with his pretty bird Dinah Lance.

Oh wait, she’s dead. L

I’m starting to understand why some comic fans call him Bat Arrow. Every element of Green Arrow’s world looks like Batman’s. The Arrowcave has the costumes of the former members of his team on display like Bruce’s in Batman Beyond. His training is so complex he’s going to all the corners of the earth to master all sorts of fighting skills. He puts his sidekicks through all sorts of rigorous training. Why not just cancel Arrow and give us a Batman show already?

Oh wait, there is a Batman show on. It’s called Gotham. And because it’s a Batman show with no Batman in it, it’s a shitpile.

The sad part about Arrow is the longer Arrow remains on the air, the further away they get from who Oliver Queen and Green Arrow truly are. Black Canary, Roy Harper, Shado and all the mainstays of Green Arrow’s world are gone. Yeah, there’s a guy who has a story loosely based on Oliver Queen’s on Arrow, but the internal elements that make Green Arrow a great character have never made their way onto this show.

In spite of Arrow being hot garbage left out in the sun for the last two and a half years, the Season 5 premiere wasn’t the croquembouche shitpile I thought it would be. Yeah, TV Oliver still isn’t Comic Book Oliver, but there was a solid setup of the seasons’ story arcs, and pretty solid pacing of the storylines. If the writing can remain this consistent, maybe Arrow can have a decent season for once. And maybe Shawn can finally get Wild Dog and Ragman action figures for his collection.

Oh and it’s only 19 days until Spinsterella’s prequel Spellbound is officially released to Kindle, nook, and Smashwords! However, with editng coming along faster I may release the paperback a little earlier than that! Like next week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Shawn Reviews The Flash Season 3 Premiere

At the end of last year, CW’s The Flash started heading down the road of the Berlanti Curse. And the Season 3 Premiere starts the road down Barry’s Highway to Hell. What was once an entertaining action show is being turned into a time travel paradox where the same story keeps repeating itself.

And the moral of that sotry is: Barry Allen is the biggest Simp to ever grace the DC TV Universe.

In the Aftermath of FlashPoint, Barry is trying to figure out how to make things the way they were in the “good old days” of Season 1. In the “fixed reality” of One Year Later, Cisco is grieving the loss of his brother, Iris and her father aren’t speaking and a new pretentious British guy is working in Barry’s lab.

Someone over at Berlanti must have a fetish for pretentious British guys. First Rip Hunter pops up on Legends of Tomorrow, now this Hipster wanker is on The Flash. This can’t be a coincidence.

Oh, and The Rival is the new villain of the season. Or Dr. Alchemy. Or Barry Allen is the real villain for destroying the timeline and that of the multiverse.

Ugh. This show is such a jumble we can’t even find out who the main villain is.

Worse, it’s turning into a broken record. Barry goes back in time to fix something, breaks the timeline even further. Goes back in time to fix it again and breaks it even further because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Kind of reminds us of Dan Didio doesn’t it?

We know a Crisis is coming for the Berlantiverse thanks to Barry mucking up the timeline. And Barry will wind up missing because of it.

If anything Barry is the ultimate “Nice Guy”. In his attempt to to “fix” the past so he can have a “smooth” present with no conflicts and no problems, he winds up screwing up the futures of everyone else. Showing us all how the “Nice Guy” is the biggest asshole in the room. Trying to fix reality to make himself comfortable, not having the discipline and the character to live life and deal with all its pain, losses, mistakes and failures.

Thank you Berlanti and Goeff Johns for making Barry Allen into a selfish, self-absorbed douchebag. He could have been one of the greatest heroes on TV, but you had to amp up his SIMP levels beyond 9000.

And what’s even crazier about this show is even after screwing up the timeline, Barry is still chasing after Iris West.

Damn. Just Damn. Simpin ain’t easy, but for Barry Allen it sure is creepy. Every time they push that Iris/Barry relationship I get reminded of this book cover:
What Barry Allen reminds me of! 

What was really interesting was how Jay Garrick in a Man moment took him back to 1998 in an alternate universe to check Barry on his nonsense. Playing on the big screen in the restaurant was Dawson’s Creek, the show John Wesley Shipp used to star on almost 20 years ago. And Dawson Leery, one of the GREATEST SIMPS OF ALL TIME was in tears over Joey Potter, the girl he used to pine for in that footage. Sadly in spite of Jay’s words of wisdom, I know Barry is just gonna follow Dawson down his road and join him in the SIMP HALL OF SHAME.

Damn. Just Damn. 

Seriously, Barry Allen is starting to catch up with Thanos as the worst Simp in the universe in his quest to get Iris’ panties. Yeah, Thanos went out and altered reality with the Infinity Gauntlet to get under Death’s robe, but here we have Barry Allen trying to alter the timeline to get with Iris.

Damn, Kryllin from Dragon Ball Z ain’t got nothing on Barry Allen. His Simp Levels are beyond space and time.

What I really find interesting is how Barry Allen can go out and have an interracial relationship with Black Iris West and it’s okay, but Black James Olson has been officially denied his chance to get with Kara on Supergirl due to low ratings. Showing us all the double standard regarding interracial relaionships many viewers have.

Yeah, you can stick a fork in this show. It’s about done. It’s clear to me that The Flash isn’t going to be about The Flash taking on his Rogues and the relationship between them. it’s going to be all about the technichalities of Time Travel and the continuity of the universe from here on in. The same thing that killed Heroes on NBC and made Star Trek: Voyager a chore to watch.

Plain and simple, this is the Goeff Johns show, not The Flash. And that’s why it’s starting to suck.

With this season premiere, the Flash has officially become the latest victim of the Berlanti Curse. The writers are stuck in a rut and running around in a vicious cycle where time travel is turning into a plot device that is sending the series into a downward spiral. Just when Supergirl made a turn around the corner for the better, The Flash starts his run down downhill. After watching the last two seasons of Arrow, I know what’s coming. And what’s coming will be a wreck worse than the last thee seasons of Star Trek: Voyager. Tighten your chinstrap Flash fans, you’re in for a rough ride.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Shawn Reviews the Supergirl Season 2 Season Premiere!

I caught the Supergirl season premiere on the CW Monday night. And I have to say I LOVED what I saw. I thought the move to the CW would lead to a decline in quality. Thankfully the storytelling has remained strong and the special effects are still solid. In fact, I’d say the writing has gotten better. The first episode of the second season set up the seasons’ storylines just like the first issue of run of an oldschool DC Comic.

Episode 1 of season captured the spirit of a Superman Family comic. The heart and soul of the Superman mythos was in this season premiere. I loved the setup and introduction of Superman to the Berlantiverse. Tyler Hochelin is THE Superman of the 21st Century. THIS is the Superman we wanted in the movies, a friend to the public, and a bumbling nerdy Clark who makes us believe a man can fly. In his first five minutes onscreen he conveyed who Superman is supposed to be onscreen.

Henry Cavill, Take notes on Tyler Hochelin. Because THIS is HOW YOU PLAY SUPERMAN. He’s warm and friendly, not an angry brooding loner like the jerk featured in Zack Synder’s terrible movies.

 It also looks like the DEO is being taken in a new direction. I like the fact that the DEO is being changed to reflect the hopeful tone of Superman comics with a brighter environment and is being pushed to the foreground to give Kara more room to be Kara, and she’s being given space to find her own life. The DEO stuff really bogged down things last season, but these changes might make that organization a better fit for the show.

I really like the friction between J’onn and Superman it adds some dimension to their relationship that wasn’t in the comics and shows us what’s really distinct about J’onn so he won’t just be the Superman Stand in like he was last season. The issue of J’onn holding Kryptonite for the DEO sets up a nice conflict between Superman and J’onn based on morals and ethics.

I also like the setup for the guy in the pod. Could he be one of the Legion of Super-Heroes? If the guy in the pod is a setup for Legion On Supergirl it’s a WIN.

Win Schott working at the DEO was another great change. His tech skills and awkward personality works better with the DEO than it does at CATCO. In my hypotehcal run I said they should have brought Kitty Faulkner in for this kind of role at the DEO to play comic relief off J’onn and Kara’s sister. But I’ll take Win in that role.

The introduction of Lena Luthor was nicely done. A slow organic build to Kara’s female nemesis. I’d have preferred Dr. Cyber, so Donna Troy could pop in for a guest spot and establish a larger DC Universe on TV, but Lena works well here.

Kara’s replacement Miss Tessmacher was another great reference to the old Superman movies. And her bumbling and stumbling about were a great refrence to the woman who used to be at Lex’s side.

I loved the setup for Metallo, it combined elements of STAS and the comics but stayed true to the spirit of the character in both mediums. John Corbin in the cop uniform was PERFECT. Great refrerence to the Terminator 2, because the original endoskeleton Terminator was one of the inspirations of the Modern Age Metallo.

The end of the episode also sets up Cadmus nicely. What I liked was the fat that so many awesome storylines for the season were being set up in 45 minutes! I’m looking forward to next week’s episode featuring Metallo!

The only thing I didn’t like about the Season Premiere was the Superman Costume. While it captured the spirit of the Superman colors the design just lacks in comparison to the classic costume. Superman needs his red trunks and a yellow \S/ on the back of his cape to truly be Superman. Tyler has shown he has the personality to play Supes, NOW GIVE HIM HIS COSTUME!

On another note, it looks like it’s the END OF THE SWIRLD for Kara and Jimmy. Oh well, I saw this coming. I’m just hoping that James’ role doesn’t become diminished. With Superman taking a larger role on the show and Win taking a larger role in the DEO, it’s looking like James is getting ready to be sent to go take some pictures of the background. That is unless Kara in her new role as reporter for CATCO is in need of a Black man to emasculate when she goes out to save people.

It looks like Supergirl Season 2 is going to be more action oriented show with Superman being part of the supporting cast. Which is a good thing. The show needed a lot more action and a lot less angst. The Season Premiere felt like a DC Comic come to life. This is looking like the kind of show that can give Marvel Studios films the competition they desperately need. If this is the direction CW is going to take Supergirl in, the show it’s going to be an awesome season.

I’ll be reviewing Flash’s season premiere tomorrow. And Arrow’s Friday. Why Friday? Arrow Season 4 was gourmet shit on a plate. And I’m gonna need a day to get calm enough to write a blog that’s somewhat family friendly regarding the croqembouche Shitpile the Arrow Season 5 premire will be.    

Oh and it’s only 21 days until Spellbound is officially released to Kindle, nook, and Smashwords! However, with editng coming along faster I may release the paperback a little earlier than that! Like next week!