Re: The Reactor Core (The Atomic Punk’s Archive)

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The Atomic Punk

Character Contest 61 – Aries

My sign of the Zodiac. One of the few moments where I fit in “first.” My Chinese Zodiac is “Year of the Ox.” My Aztec / Mayan is “Year of the Rabbit.” April is the fourth month. The number four in Japanese is “yon” or “shi.” “Shi” has an association with death. The ancient Roman traditions of spring planting (Ceres), the founding of Rome herself (Parilia), and a salute to grapes which would become wine in fall. April 16th is “National Stress Awareness Day.” The day that Bat Masterson was gunned down in Dodge City. Lots of ups and downs during these days.

I share some famous birthdays on April 16th (for example, Charlie Chaplin). I enjoy Chaplin’s work because I am a huge fan of early cinema and matinees. Most movies from the 1920s and 1930s are heavy into the industrial themes and futurism. How the generation was bearing witness to not just wonders in entertainment but a fast-paced revolution in manufacturing and machinery. The visions and warnings of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley, Bram Stroker; Movies like Metropolis, Golem, Nosferatu; The coming of Lon Chaney, Bela Legosi, Boris Karloff…

Anyway… Charlie Chaplin, April 16th. Same date as my birthday. He is somewhat of a controversial figure in Old Hollywood having been black-balled under a cloud of communist sympathy. Which is why I think his feature Modern Times is an all-inclusive representation.

The premise is that Charlie Chaplin is a glove-hand, care-free tramp who finds himself working in a factory. He is out of his element having to toil in a machine rather than an idyllic shop. In his day, it must have been very terse avant-garde social commentary with self-deprecating laughter from all in attendance. In my version, he is over-whelmed not just by the wheels of progress but what they have wrought. Oh, for simpler times…

Charlie Chaplin Modern Times