Hollywood has a long obsession with heroes, from the early westerns to the latest spandex-clad Marvel super types currently dominating global box offices. They mine common themes of heroism: self-sacrifice, justice and the importance of big muscles when biffing baddies with bad attitudes.
Of course not all heroes rely on brawn – some are brilliant scientists, some are brilliant and super rich and others are just your average Joe/Josephine who got bitten / zapped or otherwise transformed into yet another saviour figure with a bizarre ability and costume.
Sport is pretty dull isn’t it? Don’t you just yearn for some new ideas and fresh approaches to those tired old games? Here, for your consideration, is the Olympics re-imagined.
This exciting revamp of the pole vault would be quite spectacular, although perhaps somewhat difficult to train for. Contestants are flung from a powerful catapult having first been set ablaze. (They have on fireproof suits naturally) They must clear a bar one hundred metres high, then deploy a parachute to land safely in a tank of water.
‘There is only one race – the human race’
Genetically we are very similar – there is only a small variation among humans and the concept of different races is largely a social construct, not a biological one. We’re also not so different from our nearest relatives the apes – Chimpanzees share over 98% of our DNA.
We are related to all life on Earth in all its staggering diversity. Even bananas, which share 50-60% of our DNA, are distant relatives. I suspect this is why some people bruise more easily than others, and some quickly turn brown, or peel after sunbathing. They are a bit more bananas than the rest of us. (I’ve certainly encountered a few 100% bananas individuals online..)
One might think that the appreciation of all the wondrous diversity of life among our global kin would be hardwired. That Homo Sapiens would celebrate and embrace all the many forms life takes. Yet the history of our species is a bloody tale of intolerance, hatred and exploitation of our fellow man, and of the other species with which we share the planet.
The dystopian world of the undead is a truly terrifying vision. They shuffle along mindlessly, all grotesque faces and guttural grunts, falling upon any flesh they find and devouring it in an horrific display of terrible table etiquette.
But even if you choose to avoid the big city-centres on any given Friday evening, you cannot help but see where George Romero or the writers and producers of TV’s excellent The Walking Dead series found their inspiration.
We now have a whole new category of accidents becoming commonplace in the modern era: a category that one could well label zombie-related injuries. People roam the streets distracted, their eyes glued to mobile devices, and frequently fall under cartoon-style steam rollers, over cliffs or into piranha-infested rivers. Well, they definitely bump into lamp-posts and trees anyway.
Read part one and part two of the story.
The situation looked grim – the demonstration outside New York’s Hall of Science was turning into a riot as more and more of the city’s thugs and crazies arrived to join in the melee. Salma was down, injured, Spark almost out of juice and Ray Flint – Rational Ray – seemed to be missing in action.
Will the forces of idiocy prevail? It’s time to find out..
Spark crawled across the grass to Salma’s side. Blood trickled down from her temple, giving him grave cause for concern. Her attacker, a hulking brute with shaved head and swastika tattoos was still close by, but just out of his reach. Perhaps he could manage one last stun before his battery ran flat. Where in the name of fuck was Ray?
Read part one of this story here
Raymond Flint – Aka Rational Ray – and his trusted robotic companion Spark are en route to New York’s Hall of Science in Queens, after a series of texts from Salma Rivera – Aka Reason Gal – had alerted our hero to the increasingly hostile protests going on outside the building. Although a number of prominent friends and colleagues from the world of science were attending a meeting inside, it was the safety of those on the outside that concerned him more.
Raymond Flint, known to millions from his radio shows and books as Rational Ray, walked to the window and gazed down at the milling crowds in the street outside his building. His once fairly secret address was now besieged by the legions of the dumb. Bearing crudely made signs and bellowing barely-literate nonsense, they had become a daily irritation in the life of this quiet and unassuming science advocate and former martial arts star.
To many of his fans he was something of a superhero, a label he rejected, on the grounds he was neither super, nor especially heroic, but they seemed to need him to be one, so he was rather stuck with it, for now. The tagline Bruce Lee with a PhD also made him cringe, but it had become a catchy slogan for many.