I remember when I was young, around the time I was 13 or 14, I made a proclamation that I would never make it to 30. I was convinced that I would burn out my flame well before then, as I was sure I was going to have an adventurous life.
Well I did, and life had other plans for me.
I joined the U.S. Army a couple months out of high-school, after a job interview in Cherry Hill, New Jersey fell through, and I had a pretty terrible car accident. Now I was not 100% innocent of the accident, as I had just blown my nose and was looking for a place to put the tissue in my sister’s car. Now I was in the center lane of a 3 lane highway, so how was I to foresee that there would be a Philadelphia Inquirer truck parked in the center lane delivering to a gas station? Needless to say, a seat belt saved my life, and the Mitsubishi engine was designed to crumple away from the driver… Again saving my life.
So there I was, a freshly out of high-school soldier. Where did they send me? Germany, where drinking is legal at 18. The town I was stationed in was in the middle of nowhere. I had only a small pay check each month, and could buy beer and alcohol at 18, what it was I did at this point does not need a doctorate in psychology to figure out.
I pretty much spent every night I was there drunk, at least when I can. We did have training maneuvers, and live firing exercises that would often take us from our base and bring us to another for up to a month at a time. While on these drinking was highly forbidden. Me and a couple guys did occasionally find a way to drink a beer or two without detection, but never enough to possibly endanger the rest of the team.
My next duty station, where I actually began to grow as a human was Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. This was in 1992. Here in the land of the 82nd Airborne, soldiers are honed into killing machines. There is almost no place for the weak of will, motivation is a highly treasured friend and strength of character is built. Here I met probably the most influential friend in my life. Through him, I found how education and personal growth is more important than any party. I am not saying that I didn’t party, rather I just didn’t party every day.
In 1993 My unit deployed to the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. The town where we were is called Sharm El Sheikh, it is the furthest south you can go on the peninsula. It was here that Jeff and I both had a total blast with some of our other friends, Joe Gower was the greatest of them. We had our barracks, a dog named Gumba, and a barbecue pit, all with what I could describe and be honest with as the greatest in the world.
We were part of a force dedicated to ensure the peace treaties between Egypt and Israel was fulfilled. It was here that I enrolled in my first college course, Criminal Psychology, through the University of Texas. I did not realize at first, however the short time I attended the class, I had begun something that would change me as a human.
I started to understand there were other things to do with ones life, rather than look for parties, and drink all of the time. I started to learn that self education and the furthering of ones knowledge in whatever it is you like is more important. One of the things I liked to do was write. However for the most part I kept it to myself. Jeff’s mother was an English teacher, so he would often correct grammatical errors I was showing in writing. I learned that English is actually fun to write, and placing word to paper I was better spoken than I ever was orally. Soon after leaving Fort Bragg, en-route back to Germany, I started to explore story writing and journal writing.
However, back to Egypt, I found out many many truths about myself. It was often times when Jeff, Joe and I would make trips to a small hamlet town (Now a major tourist town) named Dahab. It was here that I truly understood how destructive I was toward myself. I would often find myself the brunt of many jokes of all my friends and people we were meeting who were back packing through the town. We often times would sit on the beach with many people we would meet, and spend days talking, swimming and partying. I would often be left out of many of the activities, as I was trying to find any way to garner attention from people, including belittling myself to be the laughing stock. This measure from me never gained me many friends. I know the friends I did have understood, and liked me for whom I was, not who I was projecting myself as.
I found myself in a moment in Egypt looking inwardly trying to actually discover who I was. The classes in psychology helped me actually understand myself. I realized, with my two friends help, that I was not an average person. I now knew that I was able to excel on my own, and that I did not need to look for others for acceptance. With time that would come, and if someone could not accept me for whom I actually was, I would not adjust to them. They like it or they don’t. It became that simple to me.
I did however get into the occasional trouble there though. I was an infantry mortar man. We tend to team up with the scouts of our unit more often than not, and Egypt was no exception. (Mortars are like a small artillery piece that was able to be carried around, providing almost instantaneous support when needed. Scouts are also infantry soldiers, who often try to go forward of the front line to call for our mortar fire, and also provide enemy intelligence to the unit.) The scout platoon, for one reason or another never liked me. On one occasion Jeff, Joe and I were having a party with a few other people in our barbecue pit at out barracks. It became a crazy night, but we had a blast, and I for the most part, am a person who becomes way to talkative when drunk.
The next morning I was summoned to the commanders office. Jeff and I had no idea what it could have been for. Standing in front of the commander, he looked me over really quick, and asked me why I had attempted to light a guard tower on fire the night before. I stared at him, and tried to make sense of what it was he was asking me. I could not swallow the accusation. I may not be the most intelligent person, but I do know, and I am sure 100% of the other people on the planet also know, metal does not burn. The accusations were unfounded. I called forward 2 witnesses, Jeff and Joe and they corroborated my story. We were talking with the guard on duty, but there was no way I was piling wood under the tower, attempting to set it ablaze. If I wanted to light a fire under it, there would have been no try, there would have been a done!
Eventually I also decided to soldier up, and become more than I was, a mediocre soldier. I decided to attempt to be better in my job. Follow orders more closely, and study the army way. There is a test of basic soldiering for the infantry soldiers. It is a difficult task, involving everything from 12 mile forced foot marches, carrying over 50 pounds of equipment, first aide events, weapons proficiency and many more tasks. It is called the Expert Infantry Badge. It is an elite badge of honor for infantry that places them slightly above other infantry soldiers.
For the first time I took this test studying all tasks with a renewed fervour, determined to make it and pass all of the tasks. I accomplished my mission. In the testing phase you are only allowed to fail three tasks, I made it only failing 1.
One of the most proud moments of my life, I wore the badge with pride for the remainder of the time I was a soldier.
Egypt was an enigma for me. It showed me who I truly was, and I began to aspire to become a better person from that point on. I think of my time within the sand and sun as being a place that turned my life around. It helped me learn to strive to become a better person. To not try to please others, to please myself. It taught me not become what other people wanted of me. If I couldn’t not accept myself for who I was, then I strove to become the person I wanted to be. But only for myself.
I thank Joe Gower, and Jeff Holloway for giving me at that moment what I really needed, Understanding and friendship. Because of them, and Egypt, I finally understood who I was. It was at this point I decided that I would allow my flame to burn as long as it could. I wanted to learn everything I could, and maybe share it with someone else out there who is a confused young adult as I was, maybe showing them how to finally understand who they were to become as well.
Lance M. Goolsby
I thought I would show some of the art work I have painted in the last year. Although I am relatively new to the medium of painting, I feel I am learning quite fast. I tent to do paintings over subject mater that matters to me, which I guess is important. I do allot of Star Wars paintings, mostly for me, and comic book heroes as well. I paint them with Acrylic on canvas. and on none of them do I have a frame. I painted them with the plan of not framing it. so the image actually continues around the edges as well.
Here are just a couple of the paintings I have finished over the year 2011, in order of making them.
This was my first, around March, I wanted to paint Darth Vader on a dark background, and only paint the highlights that reflect off of his costume. I didn’t know at the time many of the blending and color bleeding principals I learned later in other paintings, which usually came through trial and error. However, as a subject it is one of my favorite paintings so far.
This one came directly on the heels of Darth Vader, which I guess makes sense, the canvas is slightly smaller than vaders, and It is meant to go to the right of Darth Vader when hung. There will be a second storm trooper in the series, which will go to Vaders left side. The series will be repainted by me, in the styles I have learned through the series of paintings I have done, to make them stand out a little better.
This one was the beginning of me learning how to blend and bleed the colors together. I found out by total accident when I had a blob of black drip, when I was talking with the wife, that water could bleed the color down enough to use it for shading. This is the first that had no subject matter film or comic book related. However, as in the style of my paintings, it is a dark image, with little color.
This was the very next one, The bleeding principal I learned was used throughout this painting. The photo was taken while there was a spot still wet, thusly the wet area. I was happy with the painting, however not overjoyed. There seemed to be something missing from the subject that I did not see when painting it.
This is my favorite to date, I had fun doing this. Wolverine has always been, and always be one of my favorite characters in comic Books. He has a dual personality as being the hero, yet being more brutal than most other heroes in the comic universe. The antihero as people refer to him, does not look to fight evil, however it has a way finding him. No matter how deep he hides himself in the shadows of humanity around him. This one was based on a still from the X-Men Origines: Wolverine film, I however thought it would be better adding the comic book face of Wolverine, rather than the film recognized Hugh Jackman.
This is a painting that I was asked to do for my Sister In Law, for her husbands Birthday. This is my best painting , and the hardest I had to do, to date. I needed to make sure the detail I added to Yoda was on the money, and as realistic as I could do. The overall length of time taken to paint this was about 2 solid weeks. Making sure every wrinkle and gray hair was properly represented. Not to mention the field of depth needed to portray his arm coming at the viewer. This photo does not do this painting justice. Hanging on my in laws wall, you can stare in awe at it for quite a while.
This was another painting asked of me by an in law. He wanted to have a Darth Vader painted by me, and customized for him to hang in his apartment. So I added the AT-ST seen in the bottom right of the painting, the Death Star 2, in the upper left, and the star cruiser and TIE-Fighters flying above. I had a blast with this one, and enjoyed making it as well. Notice the light saber glow on the costume, that again was created with the color bleeding I figured out just a month or so before. I had not yet figured out how to thin the colors enough to create really fine details, while not loosing the strength of the color. as seen with the white reflecting off the corners of his helmet, or off the chain holding on his cape.
Again same Brother in Law, and this time he asked me to do something based of something completely different. This painting is a single frame in the Kick-Ass comic book, where the father is about to show the daughter how it feels getting shot while wearing a bullet proof vest. The hard way. I changed a small portion of the color scheme, as I didnt agree with the way it was originally painted, but it was my interpretation of an already painted scene… So my artistic input is ok… LOL
Well, there you go. A small view into the few paintings i made last year. And slightly after our move in the next few weeks, I will begin again painting. So expect to see a few more in the next few days.
Imagine if you would, if you still have not seen the Youtube video, with me:
The setting is a small street in China, and the security cameras spot a two year old child wandering in the street in front of his parents shop. Within short time, an approximately 7 ton delivery truck turns onto the narrow, seemingly seldom used street. Within seconds, the driver hits, and then runs over the child, stopping once the front left tire has completely rolled over his mid section.
The driver, seemingly in a daze, unsure what he has hit, then decides to flea the scene. The back tires of the truck then run over the child’s legs.
Within short time, pedestrians start passing the barely moving child on the street, looking at him, but passing by.
Again, another delivery truck enters the street, and again, runs over the child’s legs again. This time it was obvious that the driver recognized what was lying in the street, but opted to attempt to drive by the small helpless figure on the street.
Until finally a woman came, and propped the body on the side of the street, and contacted authorities, and the parents in their shop.
This event was captured on Closed Captioned Television (CCTV) in china recently. It came to our attention in my home, from my son, who watched the video, which was sent to him from a friend fuming about how the people reacted to what had happened.
The event lasted over 8 minutes on video, with more than 16 people walking by the child, who was lying almost in the middle of the street. Every one of them looking at the motionless figure on the ground. They continued on their lives, with the knowledge they did nothing. They were satisfied with that action.
First, have we as humans lost any empathy for others? Has the ability to act out for the benefit of others completely begun to elude us?
What about the parents? How does a two year old get out of the store, and wander on the street, even if it was in front of their shop?
I look at the mayhem that is plaguing the world at the moment, and wonder what the hell is happening. Sometimes I believe that the colonization of other planets is not coming soon enough. I for one would love the chance to just start over anew…
This is something that has been dwelling up in the human race for quite a while now. I first noticed it all the way back when the two teenagers entered the Columbine school in Colorado, and opened fire upon their own classmates and teachers.
As many of you may remember, back then the parents of the boys were up in arms about the fact that it was a video game that caused them to commit this atrocious act. They said that the game desensitized them to the point that human life no longer had a value. Counter Strike was the game in question.
If any of you are gamers, as I am, you may remember Counter Strike being nothing more than a team based terrorist hunt style game. Today we have one just like it called Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The goal of it is to hunt down terrorists in certain locations, gaining points for each kill, in order to advance in ranks.
I however in retrospect, do not believe video games are ever to blame for violence that is being perpetrated in the world at any given point. I have yet to see children jump on a turtle, because they saw Mario do it once. God forbid if one of the Halo gamers ever decided to “Stick” someone!!! I have not seen someone go absolutely insane yet with a shotgun, claiming that House of The Dead caused them to see zombies everywhere… You get my point.
What most failed to see in the columbine, and subsequent attacks around the globe, is that in all cases both parents worked, and the children were home alone until their return. Drugs, access to weapons, social shunning, and bad morale upbringing were primary causes for them. There is also one major point I want to hi-light, The fact both parents were confident in their upbringing of the children.
As a psychology student, I thought about this after it happened.
It was amazing to me how none of the parents took responsibility, but rather used the scapegoat of the video game culture to place the blame on. They did not believe, and most likely still do not believe that they were in any part responsible for the atrocities their children perpetrated. Never could it be the fact that the parents were not there allot of the time to help instil correct behavioural processes into their children. Proper teachings that children need to learn from their parents.
We as humans learn the beginning of our lives from our parents. We observe, absorb, and apply teachings from our parents into our lives. It is how, as a person becomes older, they suddenly have that “Man I am exactly like my(Mother/Father)” moment.
Now we stand on a new precipice, with a new style of non-human behavioural malfunction.
This child’s life could have been saved, right at the beginning.
The driver of the first truck, may have been distracted, trying to look for the address where the delivery was supposed to go, and not seen the child. But when he made the concious decision to resume driving, after looking what it was he hit, is where the failure on his part will forever haunt him. Justly is the case, I hope personally, that he torments in a personal hell that will last the rest of his life. I do not hate the man however. But I empathise for him.
Well we live in a society at the moment where we criticise people for late deliveries, more than taking the life of a small child. Walk by the lifeless form of a small child on the street because we are afraid of interfering in the matter, fearing becoming entangled in the bureaucratic red tape, and paperwork, and questioning involved with its discovery.
We have seemingly started a downward spiral in our empathising of others, worried more about the personal gains, rewards, punishments, and justifications of interfering with the fate of others.
We are also seemingly more and more absent in the rearing of our children, once they reach a certain age, and feel they can now fend for themselves. They are missing the parental taught morale upbringing needed to learn how to interact with peers, and humans alike.
We need to reach out to our neighbours and brethren living on the planet, no matter how many of us there are.
We need to stop wars, and come to peaceable conclusions to our indifferences.
Take the time out to help someone obviously in trouble.
I understand the perfect way of life imagined by Gene Rodenberry in Star Trek, where there is no longer any form of currency, in order to remove poverty, and to bring all to an equal status of living is impossible.
But with harmony, and love toward what we are, individually thinking self reliant creatures, capable of feeling, free thought, and emotion, maybe we can progress as a human race, and scientifically to develop technology to help us move out into the galaxy.
Then maybe I can get my wish… Starting over new in a colonization in space… on a planet Far, Far away…
I have been thinking lately how people around the world are constantly in a state of panic about whatever new world crisis there happens to be playing on the telly. Most people are sheep, being led by the media into whatever they want them to feel.
Here are examples:
When the people of Tibet rose up against the Communist China government, how many “Free Tibet” stickers did we see driving around the streets? Not to mention how many demonstrations were there world wide? Where are they now?
When there was a tsunami in the Maldives, the world opened their wallets to donate. What has happened to their donating lately?
When there was massive flooding in India, people were donating left and right clothing, school equipment and money. What has happened since?
Then comes the 2011 earthquake in Japan.
Of all of the recent tragedies, this one takes the lead in the amount of people swallowed by the media. people flocking in the thousands to protest against nuclear power. stating how unsafe it is, and how we need to find alternate sources, to help sustain the human race.
Well people, here are some facts:
This is not the first reactor to have a melt down.
March 28, 1979, in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, U.S.A. (Yes people we had our own melt down as well!) 3 mile island reactor number 2 had a complete melt down. The power plant is still to this day not accessible without suits due to the radiation lingering inside.
April 26, 1986, Chernobyl, Russia (Now the Ukraine) The largest and most deadly reactor meltdown happened. 25 people were killed by acute radiation poisoning, and an entire viliage needed to be relocated due to the amounts of radiation in the area. There will be thousands of deaths by cases of cancer which was directly caused by this radiation.
Yet for some reason very few at the time flocked to protest the worlds reliance on nuclear power.
Now, May 24 2011 there is an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and everyone wants to boycott nuclear power.
Some people don’t care what it will cost, and demand the immediate shut down of these plants. They fail to reason the following:
- Shutting down a nuclear power plant leaves on average 100,000 homes and businesses without power. (Per plant)
- Without power, businesses cannot create the products or run the computers needed to create revenue for the company.
- Without revenue for the company there is no pay for the employees.
- Without pay for the employees, there is no rent paid, food bought, no clothing bought, no consumer goods period being consumed.
- The farmer is now making no money because no one is buying his produce.
- The clothing company is now out of business, because of the same.
- Oh, did I mention that much of the power being generated by these nuclear power plants is being exported to other countries? So guess what happens then? The exact same process as what happens in the direct area of the power plant, is now spread to another country as well.
What some people consider to be a simple shut down of a nuclear reactor, will cause a world wide economic and not to mention social collapse.
People will reply, “well companies can just hook up a generator, and power their company with that.”
Well, lets remove a problem, and create a much larger one. Imagine all of the companies, if you could, in the world, running enough generators to power their companies.
And then think of this. they would be gas powered generators.
Nuclear reactors do have a problem when it comes to the safety of those around them. But it is over all safe form of energy. It happens that when an event happens that captures the worlds attention, they then demand reaction.
I think people need to get off of their high horses, whilst listening to the television news, and start creating a thought process for themselves.
Lets as a unit start thinking outside the box. Creating our own thought processes, and developing our own personal agendas. Lets not allow the government backed news networks, and yes they all are, no matter what they tell you, develop out thoughts for us.
We need to stand back, assimilate the facts, and then move forward. The simple reaction to a problem is not the answer. Give the world your voice by stating the problem, and then the alternatives to it. Do not simply state what needs to be done, and leave it at that.
The news companies want you to react without reason. This gives them fuel to report to the rest of the world. Our inadequacies actually pays them their salaries.
The truth is this. The more we think of the problems plaguing the world, and reacting in a rationally sensible way, the more we as a human race will start to unite.
The more we allow the media to plague our sensibilities and drive us in the direction they want, the more torn we will be as people.
Yes Tibet needs to be free’d, We need to donate to the Maldives as well as India. We need to donate to Japan, and help the restructuring of the areas affected.
We also need to remove nuclear power from the earth. However lets tactfully and with a thought and agenda behind it, bring our plan to the attention of the worlds governments, stating not only the problem. Lets give them the problem, and the solutions.
Lets as humans also look around the world and see who else can use our attention. Lets also help them. Lets not allow the media to drive us to our own extinction.
I have been trying to pass the Neila game idea off to dozens of companies. However they all seem to come back with the same answer, time and time again.
“We are sorry, but we only develop games In-House”
“Your email was not read” (Yes I did get this one from a large game development company, they have an automatic response on it, that if it is not read in 2 months, it sends off!!)
It is becoming no wonder why it is hard to find a game in the world, that is worth playing. Only a hand full that come out each year, in the thousands released, are worth any play time. These games are great, but the rest can be tossed directly into the rubbish bin. Why a company spends so much of its time and resources on them defies all reason. Do they not see how bad a game is in development? Can they not see the AI is causing all the NPC’s to run into walls on the levels? (This did happen in Medal Of Honor: Airborne… When you came into one of the towns, the German soldiers would scurry around like rabbits running from a cat, and then get stuck running into a rock wall, where you could just walk up behind him, and shoot him without remorse. It was a mercy killing… LOL)
What intrigues me is that almost none of the companies are listening to the players.
But who are the players?
Players are the ones responsible for making games popular around the world. It is the players insight in the game, that has him/her advertise by word of mouth to their friends. Players can make or KILL a game simply by talking.
Players are responsible for making the Halo franchise over a billion dollars. For it was their money that was the Billion dollars given to Microsoft, and Bungie.
Players determine the direction video gaming consoles need to travel to keep the interest in gaming alive. It is the player that buys these consoles!
Players rate video games daily.
Players spend billions each year on video games, and video game paraphernalia around the world.
Next to Cinema, video games are the highest money maker in entertainment around the world.
So the question remains, why won’t a video game company listen to the ideas of players?
I can not find a single reason why they shouldn’t. They should listen, and fish out the great ideas, and develop them into games for the rest of the world. Developers will know if a certain game has founded principals to become a hit, or not. They should sift out the scum from the true creative ideas, and develop these games for the market. They would stand to make a small fortune from it.
So why don’t they?
That is simple. They currently employ scripters, artists and many other people solely for the thought process of game development. They have little to do with the game making, just the brainstorming of the thought of a game, and the script that will be used in it.
Why pay people for that, when so many people, who know video games around the world, are developing ideas themselves and sending it in to be denied by someone at a desk?
I call upon all the readers of this to consider the opportunities available, and the amount of money that can be made if we band together and create our very own video game company. We would rule the gaming community with our prowess. By listening to the Gamer, we will make products that will become legendary.
If there is people out there that agree with me, let us make it happen.
Respond to this post, and lets see what happens together!!!
Welcome all to the new mordfilm Blog.
I know what you are thinking. “Oh man. Not another blog! Don’t we have too many already?”
But listen, this blog is to showcase my short stories I have written over the course of the fifteen years I was in the U.S. ARMY.
Almost all of these stories, which I will present weekly, have never been read by others. Some have been read by friends, and fellow soldiers who were interrested in what I was writing all the time. But never before have I made them available for the entire world to read.
So if you are reading this, I again welcome you to my world.
If you are a fan of horror stories, you have reached the right place.
Most of the stories have adult language, and graphic descriptions in them, so I beg you to use discretion when reading.
I will eventually make folders for the family oriented stories, and the horror stories.
This week I am starting off with my favorite story. “Deaths Hand”
Lance M. Goolsby