Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Honest Scrap Award!

B-Sol at the great blog Vault of Horror yesterday tagged me for an Honest Scrap Award, a blogger-to-blogger honor now circulating on the World Wide Web.

The Honest Scrap Award is given to "
a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant. This award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who oftentimes put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul."

Coming from B-Sol, who pens brilliant posts each and every day, this is indeed a high honor, and I'm deeply appreciative of the recognition. Thanks, man! Right back at ya! And now, in keeping with the spirit of the award, I am to select 10 bloggers whom I also deeply admire, and then provide a list of ten "honest things" about myself.

So the links first. I pass along the Honest Scrap Award to:

1. Radiator Heaven

2. And Now The Screaming Starts

3. Made for TV Mayhem

4. The Lightning Bug's Lair

5. Zombos' Closet of Horror

6. Theofantastique

7. Classic Horror

8. Fantasmo Cult Cinema Explosion

9. Day of the Woman

And -- back at you B-Sol --

10. The Vault of Horror

Ten Honest Things About Myself:

1. I didn't enjoy The Dark Knight (2008). I found it loud, angry and ugly...though undeniably well-made.

2. As a kid, I was terribly afraid of horror movies. Then Tobe Hooper's Funhouse, broke my cherry, and I fell in love with the genre.

3. I once lost a really hot girlfriend in high school because I was more interested in watching a new horror movie than making out with her in the theater. Oopsy.

4. On the days I am a stay-at-home dad with Joel, my two-year old, we often have light saber battles. Yesterday, we crawled under our dining room table and pretended it was a "wormhole."

5. I was an extra in the movie Body Count (1997)...and played a convict wearing a red jump suit. Because I looked "like an intellectual" according to the assistant director, I was not allowed to play basketball with the other convicts. Rather, I was asked to sit at a nearby table and read Herman Hesse's book Siddhartha during my scenes. I finished the book in eight hours, while the scenes were shot.

6. I think my wife looks like Stacy Haiduk (but that's not why I married her.) Or at least not the only reason.

7. I once played Schroeder in a Peanuts play. I also once played Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in high school. I was a better Schroeder than a Caesar.

8. I wore my Superman shirt to my son's he would become a geek early.

9. I once had an intensely unpleasant personal experience with a genre icon that everybody absolutely adores and thinks is da bomb. I still live in fear that I will share a stage with him at a convention.

10. And -- finally -- I'm addicted to blogging.


  1. Per #9...come can you not name names!?!


  2. Well, I'm honest but not self-destructive...:)


  3. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Kathrine is definitely more Nicole De Boer (Ezri Dax) than Stacy Haiduk IMO.

  4. Anonymous,

    Yeah, we've definitely heard that too. We did name one of our cats Ezri...

    John Kenneth Muir

  5. Thanks for the award! I really do appreciate it more than I can say.

  6. Thanks so much for the award. You can't imagine how honored I am to have it come from a writer whose books I admire. Thank you so much.

  7. Congrats, JKM. A well deserved accolade. Cheers.

  8. Hey John, I'm a HUGE fan (just finished your Carpenter book, and can't wait for the 90's horror book), and I could not have been happier to have found this blog. I do appreciate your honesty in regards to the Dark Knight, but MAN I couldn't disagree more. I'm not a Batman fanboy, but I absolutely ADORED Dark Knight. I put it up there with Spiderman 2 and Star Trek: First Contact as great films that also happen to have comic book/ sci-fi origins (for the record, I realize most people don't put First Contact in that category, but I really liked the movie part more than than I liked the Star Trek part).

    As a side note, you don't have a public email address, do you?

  9. J.D. and T.L.Bugg: You are both amazing writers, and I enjoy your blogs so much. It was my pleasure to name here two of my favorite "Honest Scraps!"

    And btcubs: about the Dark Knight. I don't begrudge you your appreciation of the film at all. I know it is well-made AND well-loved. I just didn't like it.

    I haven't reviewed the film here because I realize my "dislike" of the film is not really objective; or based on the qualities of the film. Rather, it is based on the fact that I don't like the film's message; or viewpoint. It seems very much a vindication of the last eight years in America, with an ends justify the means kind of perspective. I just...didn't like that in a Batman movie. The movie actually espouses that viewpoint well (and in artistic fashion), and I would be a hypocrite if I didn't acknowledge that.

    I just didn't enjoy the film (on a human, personal basis).

    Like I said, I realize it was well-done. Just not my cup of tea.

    And hey, thanks for the comments on my books!


  10. Oh, and I do have a public e-mail:


  11. I do appreciate that two differing viewpoints on a subject (in this case TDK) can be reflected upon with feeling and intellect without falling into a flame war (as is the case too often on the intertubes). Both viewpoints are valid. In my case, I'm with btcubs in my appreciation of TDK. But, I can see and understand your viewpoint. I'd gather our view of the last eight years is very, very similar. Jane Mayer's The Dark Side was one of the best books I read last year and put light on that ends justify the means kind of perspective you cite.

    Interestingly, author Meyer noted in that work how the British right after 9/11 warned us (based upon their many experiences over the centuries) against the type of reaction we ultimately still took. I say this in speaking about the TDK because director Nolan (and screenwriter brother) are also Brits. IMO, that creative team gave a similar critique, and made the opposite point of that vindication. Ultimately, the hero questioned his methods, finally accepting his mistake, and gave away the power to his friend (Lucius Fox) knowing of its corrupting influence and that it must be not in any one's hands. As well, he knew the Joker's choice (let's call it the Cheney option) on the two ferries was no choice at all.

    As always, I very much appreciate your candor, reviews, and excellent analysis on film (in whatever genre). Thank you for the discussion.

  12. Le0pard13:

    Thank you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts; for adding to the debate in a smart and reasoned way. That's what this is all about.

    I should probably watch TDK again, but I remember sitting in the theater and -- no exaggeration -- feeling oppressed and bullied by the film.

    My heart sank as I realized it followed, note for note, the arguments of the Bush Administration in the War on Terror.

    Illegal spying was judged okay, because, essentially one man and his gang were "terrorizing" a city. If we had to break the law to beat the bad guys, so be it.

    And even though the illegal operation was handed off to one noble man, Lucius Fox...I was reminded of Colin Powell and his presentation in front of the UN leading up to the Iraq War.

    There was a supposedly unimpeachable man -- a man I trusted -- and he lied and presented distorted evidence to the world so we could go to war with a country that was not a threat. 4,000 Americans have since died. We have lost trillions in national treasure, too.

    The point that Dark Knight willfully ignores is that there is no Lucius Fox in real life, no man above reproach to whom the government can turn over something "illegal" and say "trust me with this absolute power." It's a fantasy to think otherwise.

    I felt that Dark Knight, like Bush, didn't want to gaze that far. The Administration wanted the power, but not the responsibility to use that power legally and wisely.

    And then there was the idea of "demonizing" Batman in Gotham City (at the end of the film), so that the hard decisions in the war against crime could be forged and the people could be handed an enemy to hate.

    Again, I felt that was a defense of Bush and his personal unpopularity; saying essentially that he was making "unpopular" decisions and was nobly taking the fall; all the while actually being a hero and defending the country.

    I just don't buy that. I didn't buy it from Bush, and I didn't buy it in The Dark Knight.

    But -- and this is important -- Dark Knight was undeniably an artistic success because:

    1.) it artfully reflected the times it was made;

    2.) it continuously and consistently made the Bush case in the War on Terror, via metaphor, in the setting of a superhero film.

    I might not like that case, but I can't, in honesty, say that the film didn't make the case strongly.

    That's why I say I didn't "enjoy" the film. I can admire the craftsmanship of Nolan, but I despise the point of view.

    I hope that makes some kind of sense...

    John K. Muir

  13. John, you make nothing but sense. Thanks for this :-).

  14. Hi John,

    Just wanted to thank you for honoring me with the Honest Scrap Award. I'm blushing! It means a lot to me that you even stop by my blog to look at the pretty pictures, much less go back and read it and enjoy it. Wow. I'm floored.

    I am currently trying to come up with ten honest things right now!

    Thank you again,


  15. Amanda!

    I love your blog and I always enjoy it. Thank you for doing such a beautiful job on it!


  16. Thank you John, I'm really honored by this!

  17. I am exceptionally honored, JKM! As a huge fan of your books as well as your blog, I must say that being cited for this award has made my week.

    Nate Yapp