Letter to the Editor in Boston Globe

Intolerance can be lethal

Letter to the Editor by Lance Eaton on October 26, 2010 

Self-hatred, self-abuse, and suicide attempts stimulated by bullying and widespread cultural disdain are issues that have existed for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth long before the media’s attention to the recent tragic suicides. I know. I work as a counselor with this population at Waltham House, a program of the Home for Little Wanderers, and one of the nation’s only residential group homes for GLBT youth. Ostracized teens come to us looking for help. Fear and isolation are just a few of the issues they face.


Read the rest of my letter to the editor in the Boston Globe, here.



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Freeway Flyer: Full-Time Adjuncts—The Spinster Aunts of Academe

The following is an excerpt from another blog I run on AdjunctNation.com:

The question has all the hallmarks of: “When are you going to settle down and have kids?” It implies that I’m not legitimate, or that my personal goals should be what the person projects for me. The question is this: “When are you going to get a tenure-line position?” Apparently, full-time/part-time adjuncts are the unmarried spinster aunts of Academe—looked upon with a degree of pity and always with the lurking suspicion: “How come she can’t snag a hubby?”

Here’s my truth: I have very little interest in a tenure-line college gig. As I’ve continued to develop my craft, expanded the range of courses taught, and have had a good deal of conversations with colleagues at the five colleges and universities that I teach at, I’ve finally become convinced that I am, indeed, exactly where someone with my ambitions and academic qualifications should be.

A tenure-line job is just not what I want.

Keep reading?  Click on through!



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Interview in Library Journal: Stefan Rudnicki

Behind the Mike: with Stefan Rudnicki, October 15, 2010

LJ reviewer Lance Eaton, who last interviewed Barbara Rosenblat (LJ 5/1/10), talks to the Audie Award winner

By Lance Eaton Oct 15, 2010

In the past 16 years, Stefan Rudnicki has produced, directed, and narrated over 2000 audiobooks, several of them Grammy and Audie Award winners. His deep, gravelly voice can be heard across a wide range of genres, though he is perhaps best known for his narration of sf titles. His latest recordings include Harry Sidebottom’s King of Kings (Oct. 1) and I.J. Singer’s The Brothers Ashkenazi (Oct. 19), both from Blackstone Audio.

How do you prepare for narrating a new book?

Because I average a book a week, there’s obviously no time to read every word prior to recording. In fact, I’ve found that on those occasions where I have studied the text fully, a kind of spontaneity is lost. [So] over the years I’ve developed a method of scanning a book for a few key types of data.

For the full interview, click through to the full interview at  Library Journal!



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Top 7 Films That Creeped the Hell Outta Me

We’re obviously into “Halloween” season as Boston.com has provided a photo-slide show of the “Top 50 Scary Movies,” a completely arbitrary list that looks to entertain rather than distill a clear and accurate depiction of the best 50 scary movies. While the creators of this show have collected an interesting assortment, it’s just that; a quirky but largely irrelevant collection. They follow it up with the 20 Best Zombie Movies ever made. I’ve watched some 90+ zombie films in my life…trust me, there’s only about 20 good ones (and that’s stretching it) despite the hundreds that have been made. But the folks on the Horror Listserv  (a must for anyone who likes to talk details about horror films) are apt to rip it apart and deliver some 100 more films even better than what Boston.com has.

The most striking and surprising on their scary movies but upon second thought, most agreeable, was Willy Wonka (The original; not the remake). Gene Wilder doing his eccentricity to the fullest; a bunch of Umpa-Lumpas with bad orange fake-n-bake skin tanning, and little children getting their EC Comics-derived “just desserts” and you definitely have something that is rather haunting and dastardly. However, by contrast, the list also included Open Water, a film that hovers in my (completely arbitrary) top 5 worst films ever list.

But we all like lists, so I’ve compiled the Top 7 Films That Creeped the Hell Outta Me. I chose 7, not because it was an especially evil number or to be different; but mostly because it’s 7:00AM and I’ve been up all night. These were all the films my diminished brain could conjure. Bare with me! (And spoilers for sure).
Image from a scene in John Carpenter's The Thing

The Thing (1984)

The concept is haunting and I certainly appreciate its attempt to be authentic to John Campbell’s “Who Goes There.” For me, there are just those scenes when the alien lets loose in unexpected ways that threw me for a whirlwind (and this is a film I didn’t see until my late 20s). I remember my eyes bulging when they go to deliver a second charge from the defibulator to the guy on the table and his chest opens up to chew off the guy’s hands. Equally striking and nerve-grinding, the thud-thud of the soundtrack that apparently is there throughout the entire film but sometimes just played very very low.

Saw 5 (2008)

I’ve been squeamish with the torture-porn run of the Saw films but I believe it is #5 where the last 2 survivors have to push their hands into a saw-blade. Yeah, I writhed in my seat; distorted my face, and fidgeted profusely…and kept watching. But even now as I type and recall it, I keep shaking and making faces.

The Exorcist (1973)

Image of Regan possessed in The Exorcist
A film I didn’t see until its theatrical re-release special 20th anniversary in 2000 or so. Overall, it was a pretty haunting and disturbing film, but ways in which evil played out on the young girl was impressively freaky. Of course, I think I slipped into the realm of the unreal and stopped remembering it was a film when Regan began to stab herself repeatedly with the crucifix, screaming that “Jesus wants to fuck you.” I know for a fact that I was completely disturbed and way more scared than my date. Probably why there was never a second date.

Blair Witch Project (1999)

The inability to actually see something clearly is a central part of my dreaming life. My dreams consist of all sorts of crazy shit going on (half the time at least) and me being completely incapable of opening my eyes or control them in any significant degree; so I’m continually battling and trying to see things and make sense of them; with increasing fear that bad things are going on (I’m driving into traffic, the killer is right behind me; I’ve arrived somewhere in the buff, but can’t see that I’m totally naked). Yeah, Blair Witch Project pretty much turned that into an on-screen experience for me.

Mother’s Day (1980)

It was just a strange and freaky movie to begin with. Two hillybilly brothers, living with their decrepit old mother; it was like Deliverance meets Psycho. Most horrific for me was the ending in which after the mother makes a return when the girl believes she has escaped. When I came back to it years late, and I realized the sexual violence involved; it made it horrific in a whole other sense. And they’re making a remake; I should be surprised.

American Psycho (2000)

Image of Christian Bale in the film American Psycho
I’ve seen this film no less than 10 times. And every time I watch it, I get to the end and can’t decide whether I really like it or really hate it. It’s filled with some of the most bizarre scenes and uncanny moments. I’ve since read the book and that doesn’t help me any better. I love Christian Bale because he can be a charming Newsis, a swinging Nazi-Youth member, Batman, and a complete and utter psychopath. His power to play charming, dominant, and axe-wielding executive is not to be missed, disturbing as it is.

I'm Not Scared (2003)

This Italian film was pivotal for me. It was the film that showed me, you could create pitched moments of fear, without gore, without violence, but with a well-developed and delivered plot. I’ve talked about the book by Niccolo Ammaniti elsewhere on here. The film did keep me anxious and uncertain and worried for the two boys and its use of the countryside works well to exhibit a childhood wonderland of exploration but also the danger and “edge of the civilization” that develops in the second half of the film.

QUESTIONS


What are other favorite horrorific movies do people have located in the dark recesses of their minds?  What stands out as a powerfully scary film (or film moment) for you?  



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