The influence of books and movies

One of my discussions on-line today was about the Ebola patients being moved to a hospital in Atlanta.  Now I understand the theory about this completely.  Their best chance of survival would be to be treated here in the states.  I also know that they have the best quarantine set up possible at the hospital.  I am confident they will contain it and I really hope these folks make it.

However, anytime I hear about Ebola, or a new strain of flu, or the new mosquito borne disease that’s hit the US, Chikungunya, my first thoughts always go to Stephen King’s book The Stand 

The Stand was about a super flu the wiped out most of the world, and even though they were using containment procedures, the labs got wiped out.  I am NOT saying it will happen, but reading this book (multiple times actually it is that good) allows me to at least consider it and results in my staying abreast of what is going on.

This conversation, though, got me thinking about what books and movies have influenced what I do or think.

Prime example?  I was raised reading Louis L’amour books (Old westerns).  He was my dad’s favorite author.  One of his recurring statements throughout his books was:  Whenever you are in unfamiliar territory, following a trail, you should turn around from time to time to see what it looks like behind you.  Trails never look the same on the way back.

I have taken this to heart MANY times, and whenever I hike, at forks, or places that I think would be easy to get confused, I turn around and mentally retrace my steps.  Shoot it kept me on the trail 2 weeks ago when I went up Mt Pilchuck.

It also keeps me optimistic for the future. I have read many books from back before we landed on the moon.  Many people thought we’d never do it.  (There are even some still who think it was faked) Shoot, I remember reading once that some people thought anyone breaking the sound barrier would instantly die.  Well we’ve been to the moon and gone MUCH faster than the speed of sound.

Because of this, I firmly believe we (the global human race we) will someday beat the speed of light as well.  Yep, I know Einstein says it can’t happen, and the math is against us.  But there’s wormholes, warping space (yep just like star trek) as well as plenty of things I don’t, and can’t understand.  It won’t be in my lifetime, nor the kids, but someday… I almost see us having transporters first, but that just might be wishful thinking on bad commute days.

Lord of the Rings taught me  as well.  No, there are NOT Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Wizards running around (but damn wouldn’t it be fun??) But I learned from the Ents that a forest is alive and should be respected.  Strider taught a young teen that it was ok to explore on your own (and I did and still do).  And Gandalf that a promise made “Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day” and kept can save the day. This was one of my very favorite scenes in the movie.

And if you want a prime example of loyalty, Sam Gamgee should have his picture next to the word in every dictionary.

I was raised on Dirk Pitt books by Clive Cussler.  There was NO one I would have rather been than him as I grew up.  I firmly believe my love of the ocean started when I was landlocked in Germany and reading his books.  Many of them I have read over and over again and will continue to do so.

Two things that stand out while I write this.  Book wise, I learned from Dirk that in a fight, no matter HOW big the other guy is, kicking him hard in the knee, over and over again will bring him down (Never had a reason to test this, but it’s been close a time or two, and I was ready…)

In the movie, I learned to Pull a Panama.  How to turn sure defeat into victory.  It would take to long to explain, but if you haven’t seen the movie Sahara, gather you action movie loving  friends, some beer (or beverage of your choice), some pizza and settle back for fun! (Huh come to think of it, this involved containing a plague as well..)

Ever want to understand what it is like to be a friend, to see it in action?  Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino, in every book, each of them knows as long as the other is alive, all will be ok.  Kirk, Spock and McCoy, cheesy yes, but still it fits.  “The needs of the few, or the one, out way the needs of the many.”

And Tombstone, Showing the strength of friendship between Wyatt


and Doc Holiday.  I also learned from them that the right lie at the right time can save someone you care about.

I like to think the men of Strohs are the equal to  these role models. 30 years together will do that!

Elder Strohs Men


From the movie Conan


I learned that you have to be ready to take care of things yourself if need be “And if you will not help me, then Ta HELL with you!”

Finally, zombie books and movies.  NO I do not think there will be a zombie apocalypse.  However, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn anything from the show.  I have my “zombie killers” close at hand, and have learned many a trick for survival, escape and taking out zombies.  Will I ever need this info?  Probably not, but you can never get too much knowledge.

Yes, I know the difference between fantasy, and real life.  But if you watch or read carefully, you can learn something from almost anything.

Case in point: Sharknado 2!  I know, I know, what POSSIBLY could I learn from one of the worst movies ever made?  Just this: If ever in New York City, getting the right cab driver can make ALL the difference!

So nope, I don’t think the world, or even Atlanta, will come to an end because of the Ebola patients.  But I am damn sure going to keep and eye on things!

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