Skip to main content


Character Development 3: The Joker as a Third Way Villain

Actor Anthony Perkins (1932-1992) as Norman Bates in Hitchcock's Psycho(1960). Image Source: IMDB.
Modern stories conflate villainy with mental illness because psychiatrists and psychologists have replaced the clergy as society's listening post. Psychological development has supplanted religious faith. This modern rationalization of mental experiences outside the ordinary has provided solutions where organized religions have fallen short.

Old Diagnoses, New Diagnoses

But for each modern answer, an older insight was lost and returned back to the realm of mystery. There is a price for each gain made, paid through some renewed blindness. For the extreme mental illness of psychopathy, a modern mental health professional would use the Hare Psychopathy Checklist as follows:
Do you sense you are someone extremely important?Would you say you need constant stimulation?Do you find pleasure in manipulating people?Would you lie in order to get your own way?Do you never say sorry?Are you know…

NaNoWriMo: Halcyon Days

How novels get written.

From a writers' meeting at Beau's microbrewery today in Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada, here is a NaNoWriMo moment. The stuffed ferret is not mine! It belongs to one of the municipal liaisons of the local NaNo chapter, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. Thanks to Taras for organizing the write-in.

Thanks as well to Beau's. The brewery makes the best beer I've ever tasted, including all the beers I tried in Central Europe, and I once worked at a beer garden in Munich. The beer, a lagered ale with 5.2% alcohol named Lug-Tread, is the winner of many awards, including several Canadian national gold cups and the #1 spot on Ottawa's 101 Tastes To Try Before You Die list. Beau's site describes their flagship ale:
"Lug-Tread is our tribute to the classic Kölsch beers of Cologne, Germany. It is versatile and well suited to any season or occasion, with satisfying, chewy malts to warm in the colder months, and a refreshing, crisp finish to quench a summer’s thirst. The tracks left in the mud from a small tractor’s Lug Tread tell the tale of honest hard work and close family ties.

Lug-Tread pours a brilliantly clear straw gold, with rocky white foam. A Graham cracker malt character mingles with notes of freshly cut hay and a subtle touch of apple. Sweet, grainy malt is followed by balanced hop bitterness, and the finish is clean and dry."
As the Most Interesting Man in the World might say, "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I drink Lug-Tread." And Beau's didn't ask me to write this! It is well-made, honouring long-standing traditions, and is a testimony to craftsmanship, something I appreciate, hammering out text at the table or on the keyboard.

Beau's Lug•Tread Lagered Ale ft. in Beertown Beer Bios (24 May 2013). Video Source: Youtube.

Bryce McBain, the Beaus' brewmaster who wants to make the perfect beer using traditional methods. Halcyon Barrel House (16 May 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Beau's Brewery also makes limited edition experimental and specialty beers with literary names, some pictured here, under their affiliated label, Halcyon Barrel House. From their site:
"Halcyon Barrel House specializes in producing small batches of wild and sour ales, using European-style brewing traditions of mixed fermentation and aging in wood barrels, as well as bottle and keg conditioning. Halcyon refers to a past that we remember fondly. We are looking back to older, more traditional brewing methods to inspire how and what we brew today."


Popular Posts