THE LAWSON’S PEAK BOOKS

Zombie Apocaplypse!

Well, anyone who saw George Romero’s “Dead” movies has got to be wondering now if it ain’t coming true.

Four cases of crazed, flesh-eating incidents in the last few weeks, one right there in Scott, La. Some sources are blaming it on the fad of “bath salts,” a recently criminalized product that was cheap and easily obtainable from convenience stores.

Now, I am not making light of the suffering the victims endured, be clear on that. However, I have to point out the irony in all this before it eats me alive.

The zombie—an undead, cannibalistic creature made famous by movies like Dawn of the Dead and its sequels, The Serpent and the Rainbow and most recently a whole main course of books and movies, mostly in the young adult category—seems to reappear every generation or so. The same way Twilight and its sequels capitalized on the re-emergence of the vampire fad.

I’ve seen a little of the Twilight shows and it seems like a rip-off of Buffy to me. Except in the new shows, vampires can go out in the daytime and they sparkle or something. It’s all about teenage heart palpitations, far as I can tell, amok . . . → Read More: Zombie Apocaplypse!

“Mom Was Right: Go Outside”

This piece from the Wall Street Journal says exactly what I’ve been thinking for a decade now. Nature is a salve and a medicine.

“According to the latest research, untamed landscapes have a restorative effect, calming our frazzled nerves and refreshing the tired cortex. After a brief exposure to the outdoors, people are more creative, happier and better able to focus. If there were a pill that delivered these same results, we’d all be popping it.”

Read it here.

Rain

The rain was much-needed, long sought-after. We had been watering and watering, but tap water doesn’t do much except keep a plant alive. They don’t flourish on it. Neither do I.

We welcomed the rain, and so did our trees and other plants. My newest trees seemed to brighten even under the dark clouds, perked up and now are setting new growth at last. That’s a good feeling.

I was going to the creek Sunday, but the weather kept me home. I don’t mind fishing in the rain, but I don’t like driving in it for several hours.

In my mind’s eye the creek was dappled with rain drops or frantically dancing in a deluge; no, a downpour is not what I want to fish in, of course, but the beauty of it…ah!

Reminds me when my cousin Jim Ray and I were on Grand Avoille Cove one spring, and a gentle drizzle started up. There was a thin surface film, and every drop caused a bubble the size of a half-dollar to blossom like a dandelion. First a few, then dozens, then literally hundreds, maybe thousands, surrounded us. We had to just stop and watch them, little rainbows . . . → Read More: Rain

Second Star to the Right

One of my chief heroes left this world this week.

Ray Bradbury died Tuesday at age 91. In his passing so also are we bereft of one of the finest writers of any genre.

His was a talent seldom seen before, and even more rarely after. Though universally labeled science-fiction, Bradbury’s works were seldom that easy to pin down.

He is regarded as the writer who brought science-fiction into the realm of literary fiction. By the same token, he detested being called a sci-fi writer, saying his work was fantasy. “Fantasy is something that can’t happen; science-fiction is something that can,” he once said.

He wrote of the joy, wonder and fears of boyhood in such classics as Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Best known for his prophetic Fahrenheit 451, the edition I had contained a single page right at the beginning of the story with only this line on it:

It was a pleasure to burn.

Oh, how that man could write! Here’s another favorite:

“The October Country…that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks . . . → Read More: Second Star to the Right

Good Dogs

Gene Hill once noted that anybody who thinks money can’t buy happiness forgot about little puppies.

Sure, there’s “dog people” and there’s people who don’t think much of dogs, and people who actively dislike dogs. Same with cats. But I’m of the Tom T. Hall mindset, “Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime: old dogs and children and watermelon wine.”

Why not? They’ve been with us near’on a hundred thousand years or so. Did you know that a dog is the only “animal” besides ourselves that can understand the act of pointing?

It’s true. When you point at something nearly all dogs will look where you’re pointing, more so some breeds than others, and sometimes a vocalization is needed to enhance it.

But even chimps don’t do that. Scientists claim it’s because our long association with dogs has favored a genetic disposition for the intelligence widget that understands pointing. I think that’s hogwash. I think our dogs are as in tune with us as we are with them, and it may be a matter of evolution to some extent, but if a chimp, our nearest cousin, can’t do it and a dog can…well, that . . . → Read More: Good Dogs

More Native Heritage Disappears from Louisiana