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The 2018 Issue is Now at Large

We have mailed out copies of the 2018 issue to our amazing and talented contributors. This little printed treasure is now in the hands of folks on every coast and on three different continents. Many thanks to all of you for your continued support. We hope you will help us keep The Finger alive and well by submitting your work for consideration in our 2019 issue. Deadline is April 15, 2019. Click on the submissions tab for details.

Posted by Erin Brewer

The Story of Gamera, Another Japanese Monster of Renown

Here’s a new story by Michael Callari!

Toho Studios is indisputably the name most associated with giant monsters in Japan. After twenty-eight Godzilla movies and fifteen other kaiju epics over fifty years, it’s easy to see why. That’s not to say that Toho has a monopoly on people in rubber costumes stomping through miniature sets, however. Their most enduring cinematic competition has been in the form of a character strange even by the standards of the genre. Imagine a bipedal, fire-breathing turtle, with teeth like those of a saber-toothed cat and the ability to spin around like an oversized Frisbee by way of flames pouring from his limbs. That’s Gamera, guardian of the universe, friend of all children, and star of twelve movies of wildly varying tone and quality. Though long dwelling in Godzilla’s shadow, his popularity would eventually influence that more famous kaiju – and their careers have curiously paralleled each other.

Read the rest HERE

 

Posted by thefingermag

New Interview Available

Cantalouper

Sex and Rock ‘n Roll have been lumped together so long that many now assume they’re two sides of the same coin. For those with more extreme inclinations its not unfair to argue that Rock ‘n Roll was created solely for the purpose of sex. In spite of these associations, Cantalouper’s newest release, “Reproduction,” somehow avoids cliche. “Reproduction”–beyond the obvious mention of sex as reproduction–conjures the ultimate purpose of coitus by featuring a lone sperm about to fertilize an egg, all with a sea-green color scheme on its cover. Though connected to sex, the music of Cantalouper does not remind me of Mick Jagger or Slash. Instead, Cantalouper’s music, under the strong guidance of Levi Dolan’s talented songwriting abilities, seems like a group of anti-hero songs meant for those who are down and out.

Check out the rest here

Posted by thefingermag

The Generally Unstoppable Giant Monster

Written by Michael Callari

On the surface, a giant monster isn’t terribly hard to figure out. It sinks ships, swats planes, tramples cities and armies, and until the last reel is generally unstoppable. Yet throughout the history of the genre, even as the tone and quality of the movies vary wildly, certain commonalities emerge which are impossible to ignore. When these creatures rampage, the blame often lies with the hubris of capitalism, science, or both. (The moralizing is seldom done in the vein of Frankenstein. Most giant monsters are created or discovered unintentionally.) Though the genre often struggles to break free of repetitive narratives and archetypes, a clear progression can be seen in the roles these two distinctly human forces play in giant monster movies over time. Continue reading →

Posted by thefingermag

A Short History of Giant Monster Movies

Written by Michael Callari

After years of box office domination by zombies, vampires, werewolves, and other less-than-normal creatures of manageable size, a different kind of monster – this one so large as to scoff at the parameters of reality – seems poised to make a comeback. Godzilla, the 30th entry in cinema’s longest-running series, is due in U.S. theaters on May 16th. Populated with a surprisingly prolific cast, its previews have presented Japan’s most famous monster as an almost apocalyptic force, every natural and unnatural disaster packed into one unstoppable being. The devastation left in Godzilla’s wake is both personal and too vast to comprehend.

That’s not to say it’ll be any good, of course, but one thing is certain: Godzilla is about to drag the long-neglected and misunderstood genre of giant monster movies back into the spotlight it once held. Continue reading →

Posted by thefingermag

American Schools (The Assembly-Line Method Of Educating)

By Devin Burgess

American schools are currently struggling. High school dropout rates are alarmingly high and our literacy rates are lower than they were a century ago. Once at the top of the “educational food chain” we have now fallen drastically behind. In polls done over the past few years we have barely made it into the ‘top twenty’ countries. How have we allowed this to happen? How can a country that was at the top for so long take such a plunge?

One problem is that our methods of educating have ceased to evolve. Our school system is currently utilizing a structure that was designed to function in the late 1800’s. The original purpose of mandating child enrollment was to keep children from working in factories. Subsequently, these children were tossed down the assembly line of education, only for them to join the factories upon graduation. School days were operated in a fashion to accustom the children for their eventual factory jobs. The days were rigidly scheduled and they were taught never to question authority. Continue reading →

Posted by thefingermag

“The Art of Writing”

-James P. McDaniel

“The Art of Writing”

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Assistant Professor Stephen Schottenfeld from the University of Rochester.  He joined the faculty in 2008, leaving behind Rhodes College. “I felt like I was leaving a really good situation for another good situation,” said Shottenfeld.
At the University of Rochester he teaches courses in modern and contemporary literature. Schottenfeld’s stories tend to  focus on people who live on the edges of society. For example, his story “Trick or Treat”  is a depressing tale of a 31-year-old who lives with his parents and has an immature mind. At one point it’s revealed that the main character “accidentally” killed his third grade teacher. Reading the story was interesting, and showed me people who aren’t written about as much.
Schottenfeld took his influence for the up-coming novel Bluff City Pawn from a novella Summer Avenue, where it is situated in a commercial strip in Memphis. He took a journalistic approach to fiction writing; he notices the abundance of pawnshops in Memphis and was interested in their function/purpose. He wanted to understand the lives of the people in the pawnshops and what the focal point of them is.

Continue reading →

Posted by thefingermag