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Song of Defiance

Everybody must have a song of defiance -- music that makes you run faster and throw harder and realize you're strong, and that you're not going to take crap from the gods.  It's what you listen to when you've loved and lost, or when you're walking out of the building with all your stuff in a box.  It doesn't soothe you.  It hollers at you: "Get mad, you son of a bitch!"

Below is mine.  Yesterday I ran 9.5 miles while listening to it on repeat.  Today I feel like the apocalypse happened. 

Monday?  Bring.  It.  On.
My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



News of the Undead

First things first: I'm a media star.

Okay, probably not.  But still, I just appeared on TV. HBO just aired two documentaries -- TRUE BLOODLINES: VAMPIRE LEGENDS and A NEW TYPE -- in conjunction with their upcoming True Blood series.  I'm very excited.  If you have HBO, write in and tell me how I did.

In other news, you can now get a full copy of the notes Bram Stoker wrote while preparing Dracula.  They're fascinating, and I highly recommend.

BRAM STOKER'S NOTES FOR DRACULA: A FACSIMILE EDITION was edited by Elizabeth Miller and Robert Eighteen-Bisang. 
The publisher:
http://www.mcfarlandpub.com
Miller's page, with an overview:
http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~emiller/NotesDescrip.htm

I've interviewed both of these people, and they're good eggs.  The book should be excellent, and I'm getting my copy pronto.

If you read my book, you'll also recognize Tray White and his documentary, IMPALER, about Jonathon Sharkey.  That's coming out to Amazon and other online retailers October 22, but you can preorder it now.

The movie is wild.  Wild.  You will see things you can't unsee.  I thought I made that clear in my writing, but if I didn't... now you know.
My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



Sorry I haven't blogged atcha people.  I've been entangled in some freelancing craziness involving spies, chili powder, and tax audits.  No one got hurt.

But there's a new essay over at the project by a guy named Joel Emerson.

Check it out:
http://draculawasframed.blogspot.com/

My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



Hello, Tidewater

I just got a mention in my hometown paper, and I anticipate some traffic to the site. So for all you crazy folks living and working in my corner of the Old Dominion, howdy!

Also, buy my damn book. Please.

Amazon link right here.
My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



Sorry I haven't posted something in this space, but I was on the bender of booze, red meats, refined sugar, ridiculous minivan roadtrips and festive sweaters that we Bibeaus traditionally take to celebrate the Birth of Our Saviour.  Jesus becomes my excuse for that 15th piece of fudge dipped in whiskey.  And then, in true Christian fashion, I feel guilty afterwards.  Ah yes.  The circle of life.

I hope your various holiday celebrations -- whether they involved Menorahs, Christmas trees, or dramatic readings of Richard Dawkins -- went well, and that you're all ready to face the year.  

I actually love this part the best.  The neighbors are grumbling as they take down their tacky lights.  The dark and cold has settled in, like winter has finally gotten its act together.  And the whole next year is a blank slate.  And with few trips, parties, or errands to distract you, you have absolutely no excuse not to do the things you really, really want to do with your life.

What are they?  I'd love to hear from you.

My goals are simple.  I want to keep at this whole husband-and-dad thing.  It's working for me.  But I also want to write a book proposal for a nonfiction project -- I'm going to roll the dice again, and hopefully get another book deal this year.  I have a great idea to start with, and the story begins in a cryonic vat out in Arizona.  And in my evening hours, I also want to write a novel.  It takes place in Virginia Beach, and it involves monsters of all kinds, along with an unseasonable blizzard.  Some crazy stuff.  Golly, I hope it doesn't suck!

Anyway, good luck to you all.
My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



Crazed Robot Heckles Bill Clinton

My buddy Dr. Kembrew McLeod, a sociology professor and expert on intellectual property, has a pranksterish side.  In Vlad, I mention how he sold his soul on EBay.  Now he's dressing up as a robot and heckling Bill Clinton to get him to apologize to Sister Souljah.  It's a long story.

http://mr-ifobca.org/ 

I love that guy.
My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



Happy Life Day, Everybody

What was the worst part of the 1970's in America? What part of that decade finally snapped the remaining thread of decency and compassion that held back the junk bonds, televangelism, and the army of guys in paisley ties snorting coke while they wrecked the manufacturing sector?

 

Was it the hostage crisis? Watergate? The rise of Soviet power in the third world? 

It was none of those things. The exact worst moment of that terrible, terrible decade happened November 17, 1978. Below I have embedded a shortened version of the TV special -- yes, it is a TV special -- that appeared in homes across my country, and utterly broke its spirit. In one sense the clip below doesn't do the show justice. The bizarre appearances by cheesey variety show regulars, the brown-acid-weirdness of it all, and of course the wookie porn (Really. Wookie Porn.) don't appear in enough detail for one to grasp how awesome and terrifying it was to behold. 

The show was an omen, a strange portent of doom like some terrible warning from an angry God about to smite. Five minutes of Youtube footage doesn't cut it. On the other hand, if you watched the entire show... well, I just don't want to be responsible for what would happen to you.

My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



An intellectual exercise

This morning I read a website  from what seemed like a scientific organization which argued that there were many misconceptions surrounding climate change.  The site stated that they weren't "deniers," but that the issue was more complicated than most people understood.  Fair enough, I suppose.  I have no idea who they are, though, and who finances them, and what the science really proves.  Every once in awhile a large organization or media outlet will say that the science is definite and proven and anyone who disbelieves is a moron or on the take.  But then again, every once in awhile some scientist will come up with a theory to counter or mitigate the consensus.  My own belief is that the bulk of scientists probably believe a significant portion of the climate change is caused by people.  But I'm not a scientist.  Whatever I think is prudent policy, I don't know the underlying truth.

David Broder's most recent article argues that the Iranian government really has significantly curtailed its nuclear program.  So does the US intelligence community, sort of.  Bob Baer, a former CIA officer with serious Middle East credentials and a deep distrust of the Bush administration argues in Time that Iranian nuke activities are a "black hole."

But none of this is going to stop people with limited knowledge -- bloggers, pundits, screechy Ann Coulter, DailyKos evangelicals, the guy in the next cubicle -- from trotting out the little bits and pieces of these scary, complicated subjects and ranting about them as if they had all the answers.  And you'll probably notice that the amateur global warming skeptics and global warming alarmists often seem to line up their opinions on the same ideological spectrum as how they feel about gun control, the Bush administration, Iran, and gay marriage.  

I'm a conservative, therefore I believe that Iran has a nuke program, humans don't cause global warming, and Steve and Keith registering at Bed, Bath and Beyond is an abomination before the Lord.  

I'm a liberal, and I believe the exact opposite.  

Now, I personally believe Steve and Keith should be able to get married, but Bed, Bath, and Beyond itself is an abomination before the Lord.  The other, complicated stuff is, well... complicated.  But we have a tendency to try to line everything up, so we can agree with all our friends, distance ourselves from anyone not in our group, and generally treat the great issues of the day as if they were a giant shirts-v-skins game.  I do it too, so I'm not criticizing.

My point is never in human history have people with such a breathtaking access to communication and information technology devoted so much of that technology to coccooning themselves so they don't have to confront an ugly thought or a fact that doesn't fit.  

So, for today, say it with me:

"I don't know."

That's not the end, of course.  If you're a citizen of a democracy you have a responsibility to do your homework, have an opinion, and vote accordingly.  But it does start with that one statement, that first step.  Let's not skip it.
My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



Here's an old poem of mine

Some of my LJ compadres are getting their snow on, and it makes me jealous.  So I dug up this old poem I wrote during the blizzard we had in January 1996 along the east coast of the US.  It paralyzed cities like DC and also NYC where I happened to be living.  Mayor Giuliani was on TV telling everyone to stay home, many of the subway lines were down, and the streets were packed with huge drifts.  And for some crazy reason I wanted to see if I could make it into work.  I had a wonderful day as one of the very few people in an office building in Midtown Manhattan.  I made a couple phone calls and faxes for my boss (who was safely back on Long Island), but mostly I drank coffee alone and looked out on the quiet and beautiful business district from our 14th floor balcony.  One of the coolest things was watching how the heat from the buildings caused the snow to actually fall upward in places.  And so I wrote a poem about it.

City snow 
by Paul Bibeau

A heat from thousands of radiators
and huffing men scraping their shovels.

The updraft lifting the snow from out of its fall,
and it is changing its mind,
dawdling its way up
no doubt,
to blanket the sky.

We would like to imagine an angel there,
one solitary grumbling thing
with a jacket cut in the back
to accommodate wings.

We would like to ask him questions,
but he can only complain
at having to shovel this stuff
off the underside of paradise.

We would ask God instead,
but the angel hasn’t even touched his work,
and no one in heaven can hear us.

 

My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.



Happy Virginia Thanksgiving!

Down here in Virginia, you can easily find someone who will tell you that the "first" Thanksgiving didn't occur in the Plymouth rock vicinity.  It took place in an area a few miles away from Williamsburg along the James River, near what is now Berkeley Plantation. 
 
Here's the quote: On this day, Dec. 4, 1619, these 38 men from Berkeley Parish in England were given the instructions:"Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God."
 
So, spelling wasn't a priority back then.
 
Anyway, old-school Virginians will tell you all this, and then launch into a quasi-conspiracy theory about how Americans celebrate that damned Yankee version of the holiday because the post-Civil War textbooks were written to slight our beloved Commonwealth and minimize its contributions to Western culture. 
 
But as I was writing this post, I decided to look up the date of Canadian T-day, because there's a small but fiesty contingent of folks from the Great Polite North who read this blog.  (You're all being monitored by the NSA, btw.  Part of some Halliburton-Hortons joint marketing/thought control venture that involves secret detention centers in Greenland and nanobot tracking devices in the crullers.  Sorry.  Should've mentioned it.) 
 
Since Canadian Thanksgiving occured in 1578 -- 40 years before the Virginians or the Pilgrims set foot here -- I think we shouldn't press this issue.  Let me just wish you and yours a happy and healthy Virginian, Canadian, Plymouth-religious-fanatic Thanksgiving, plus a very merry Chrismasolsticekwanzakkuhboxinday, a really really good New Year, and let's try to stop fighting about stupid things.
My most recent book, about Dracula in history and pop culture, just came out from Three Rivers Press. It's called "Sundays with Vlad," and I want you to check it out at www.vladlives.com, and buy one or three copies. Otherwise I'll have to go back to my job at the cracker factory. I'm a big wheel down there.