• Larry

A Triumphant Return

Did you miss me? It seems like it has been forever since I last sat down to write a blog post, and I won’t lie I missed doing it. There is something about the writing process that for me has always been calming, and a calming exercise is definitely something I have been needing in the last few weeks. Moving across the country is no joke, and when your things don’t arrive on schedule and it happens to fall during the holidays, it can make for some real nightmare scenarios. But, thanks more to the strength of my lovely fiance and the foresight to bring my PS4 and a small TV with me I managed to survive. And now my things are here and unpacked, I have started my new job, and Season Three of the podcast went live yesterday!! During my last post so many weeks ago it seems now, you will recall that I set up a schedule by which I intend to stick to for the next season. Here it is again so you all don’t have to go look for it:

1st Monday of the Month – Think Piece

2nd Monday of the Month – A Top Five List

3rd Monday of the Month – Movie Review of a non-horror title

4th Monday of the Month – Director Retrospective

5th Monday of the Month – Book Review

Obviously there are not going to be many months with five Mondays, but at least you know when there is you will get a treat (pretty sure the first one will be April, but I have been wrong before). If there are areas of interest that you would like for me to focus on, whether it be a director you love, my opinion on the ranking of a certain subject, or perhaps a review of a certain Star Wars movie, please send in an email to the show and I will add it to the list! So with that long preamble, I now owe you a think piece on something. Why delay further, let’s dive on in!

I currently wrapped up listening to my first audio book in forever, “The Stand”. This has always been one of the books from Stephen King that I have a really hard time getting into. I cannot tell you how many times I start to read it, only to stop a few hundred pages from the end. I think I now know why though. The opening to the book is where I truly feel the strength lies. The idea of an epidemic starting out and making its way across the globe is fascinating to me. We see so many far-fetched imaginations of the end of the world in media today. One of the craziest to me is the climate-change-overnight made famous by films like “The Day After Tomorrow”. If you think that that is what is going to happen, as in just like the movie shows it happening, you need to go and take a science class. Don’t get me wrong, the crazy scenarios are fun! The idea of Jake Gyllenhaal facing down arctic wolves in a frozen over New York City makes for great popcorn fair. But what King does is far more terrifying. Not to give too much into my own background, but I have taken many courses on immunology and disease pathology. The idea of a hyper virulent disease spreading as it does in the novel is not far fetched. One of my favorite parts in the book is when King nonchalantly outlines how A gave it to B, and then B gave it to C, D, E, F, and G. And then they gave it each to five others. I cannot fully explain why, but there is something about the way he describes it that terrifies me to the bone. And this is a far different fear than jumping at a scare in the theater. This is the kind of fear that stays with you for weeks at a time, crawling to the front of your conscious at some inconspicuous time when you aren’t prepared for it.

Due to the way that our society functions, a viral outbreak can happen exactly as defined in the novel. I work with something called a lentiviral vector which is basically just a neutered down version of the HIV virus. We use it to transvect other cell lines to force a specific mutation, but the science is there to make this rather benign scientific tool into something far more deadly. I used to joke with my friends when they asked what I did for a living. I would always say that I was preparing to work for the Umbrella Corporation, that way I would hopefully have an antivirus ready when shit hit the fan. The thing I fear the most is as science continues on such a breakneck pace towards new and not fully understood technologies someone, somewhere is going to screw up royally. And all of the safeguards that we have in place will not be enough to hold the line from it. And before anyone can do anything about it, the world is done. And then it's not some Randall Flagg character I am concerned with. Its being one of those immune people and having to rebuild the world.

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