Via the Hollywood Reporter: "According to a new study, seven television shows about serial killers were added, an increase of more than 35 percent."
The article notes how Hollywood and the media love to take credit for changing views on homoexuality due their positive portrayals of gays; however, when it comes to violence (y'know, like in seven new shows about killers), it's "Who, me?"
But of course.
From Reason's Facebook page:
New media allows the audience to express its thoughts. No wonder celebrities, politicians, and others with power are apoplectic.
You've seen what we've posted many times here, especially with regards to comicbook creators: how they get in hizzy fits when someone dares to challenge/question them when they post a political comment on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever. As Reason continues (regarding Alec Baldwin, in this case):
Baldwin's real issue with new media - he slags Tumblr, Vine, MySpace, Facebook, and more - is that they level kings and queens and even celebrities into a mosh pit of direct, unmediated exchange that is hard as hell to control. It turns out that there's really no red carpet or champagne room when it comes to the way that stars (read: world leaders, sitcom heroes, famous authors, former child actors, you name it) are treated.
What's more, his followers have minds of their own. They may enjoy his turns in Glenngarry Glenn Ross and 30 Rock and guest-hosting on Turner Classic Movies but not really find his views on fracking to be worth a damn. It's a real kick in the pants for a celebrity to be reduced to asking, "Do you think I'm really changing anybody's mind?"
Amen. I think Kurt Busiek is one of the greatest comicbook writers ever to grace the industry. As I've noted previously, he even once -- back before social media ... indeed, even before the explosion of the World Wide Web -- said he doesn't like economic boycotts, preferring to challenge speech with more speech. But his view conveniently changed in the Age of Social Media. I had argued to Kurt (back then) that guys like me had no other real recourse other than our wallets; now, we have precisely what Busiek had advocated: a means to challenge speech with more speech.
And guys like Kurt don't like it. It's bad enough, I suppose, that they have to defend in real time what they do in their stories; now, if they choose to be political, they have to defend that, too. And it surprised the hell out of them that, lo and behold, there are plenty of people out there who enjoy their stories ... but not necessarily their politics. Their solution? Block dissenters. Belittle them. In other words, nothing much different than what your typical radical "progressive" does.
This phenomenon is not unlike what we've seen with the ascension of Fox News. Conservatives wanted -- craved -- a news outlet that would at the very least cover their point of view on issues, and do it fairly. Fox News filled that niche and violá -- instant, incredible ratings success. "Progressives," our supposed paragons of tolerance and understanding, saw what was coming and attacked. And their most telling response to conservatives' "just covering other points of view" claim is ... "one doesn't have to be tolerant of intolerance." (See here for a perfect, and recent, example.) Which is, of course, the easiest way to avoid a discussion and/or debate.
You can always count on race-on-the-brain-100%-of-the-time Michael Eric Dyson to make a complete jackass of himself (well, except to the 25% or so of moonbats who've already completely lost it). The Georgetown professor(!!) said, regarding the recent SCOTUS decision invalidating a section of the Voting Rights Act, that Justice Thomas is "a symbolic Jew" who "has invited a metaphoric Hitler to commit holocaust and genocide."
Of course, he was on MSNBC.
The most unintentionally funny "article" in a long time: Tommy Christopher's attempt to get you to believe that the term "cracker" is actually -- wait for it! -- a term of endearment down there in Florida.
No wonder this nimrod contributes to the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers. Just check out his latest "cartoon." Aside from the fact that it is woefully factually wrong, not to mention downright racially insensitive to the one African-American justice on the Supreme Court, it totally ignores (purposely, no doubt) the obvious: "How is it that we can't expect certain people/areas/regions to evolve when it comes to race, but we expect same to evolve when it comes to sexual orientation?"
So, indeed: Let's base national policy around what one person said a while ago (and part of which was under extreme duress). Meanwhile, let's continue the deprecation that it is perfectly acceptable to denigrate black Americans if they do not think and believe as "progressives" want them to.
The non-Council winner was The Sad Red Earth with “It goes without saying”: the Further Rhetoric of Terrorist Apologia.
Full results are here.
Item highlighted by the White House: a $53 million program in Kenya that helps young people "obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration."
Recall what WH spokesmouth Jay Carney said last year about Texas's voter ID law:
And on the voter ID case, I can tell you that, as you know, this administration believes it should be easier for eligible citizens to vote -- to register and vote. We should not be imposing unnecessary obstacles or barriers to voter participation.
From Rasmussen: 26% of Boss Obama supporters think the Tea Party is the nation's #1 terror threat. NUMBER ONE!!!
Seriously ponder that for a second ...
Boss Obama in Senegal: "... we have to respect the diversity of views of people who personally oppose gay rights ..."
Uh, riiiiiight. If there's one thing that isn't respected here in America, it's the "diversity of views" that are contrary to anything the Left believes. Period.
Oh, and by the way -- the prez of Senegal basically told Barack "Cheeyeah, right."
(Thanks to RwR, as always!)
Re: The recent Supreme Court decisions on the Voting Rights Act and Defense of Marriage Act:
How is it that we can't expect certain people/areas/regions to evolve when it comes to race, but we expect same to evolve when it comes to sexual orientation?
Raucous crowd keeps Texas abortion bill from passing is a headline at Philly.com today. From the article:
Despite barely beating a midnight deadline, hundreds of jeering protesters helped stop Texas lawmakers from passing one of the toughest abortion measures in the country.
The noise never stopped and despite barely beating the midnight end-of-session deadline with a vote to pass the bill, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said the chaos in the chamber prevented him from formally signing it before the deadline passed, effectively killing it. Dewhurst denounced the protesters as an "unruly mob." Democrats who urged them on called the outburst democracy in action.
"Democracy in action," huh? Like they called the Tea Party protesters at various town halls back in 2010? And, as the title says, just imagine how it would be covered by the MSM if this was, say, the New York State legislature and Second Amendment supporters were jeering to prevent passage of a strict gun control measure.
And the non-Council submissions are here!
The US Supreme Court has just struck down a section of the
40 50 year-old Voting Rights Act, and as could be predicted, the usual suspects are being irrational. Like MSNBC's Melissa Harry-Perry:
Damn, that citizenship thing was so great for awhile.— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) June 25, 2013
And the same network's Chris Hayes:
I am slightly surprised by how physically enraged I find myself.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 25, 2013
Thankfully, there's Breitbart's Ben Shapiro for some rational common sense:
Voter turnout gap between whites and blacks in AL in 1965 was almost 50 percent. 2004: 0.9 percent. Leftists: But nothing has changed!— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 25, 2013
UPDATE: Hey look! It's Ron Marz again, offering still more evidence of his prodigious intellect!
Just don't ask Ron how today's SCOTUS decision would do just that. He'll ignore you. Because, to coin a cliché, ignorance is bliss. Meanwhile, enjoy a non-emotional, 21st century rational examination of today's high court decision.
UPDATE 2: The Corner has compiled a Top Ten list of the best ["progressive"] overreactions to today's SCOTUS Voting Rights Act decision.
Inspired by Taste of Cinema's list of "The 20 Worst Special Effects That Ruined The Movie," 'ol Hube is gonna have a go at some F/X moments that, in his view, while not ruining the flick, may have come close to doing so. And, hopefully, he can find some YouTube clips or images to show you what he means. And keep in mind he ain't gonna be unfair like ToC; I mean, they use made-for-SyFy flicks which are designed for parody purposes.
LIFEFORCE. A little known scifi flick which I actually like, it stars Star Trek: TNG's Patrick Stewart. The plot is basically this: A space shuttle discovers a mysterious ship in the tail of Halley's Comet, and some of its [very attractive humanoid occupants] are taken aboard and taken back to Earth. They turn out to be some sort of energy vampires, and they end up turning London into a war zone. It's an admittedly different tack on the vampire legend, one that'd be a lot better if not for the pathetic effects:
ALIEN 3. I don't know which Alien sequel is worse -- this one or Alien: Resurrection. Nevertheless, this second sequel fell short in one of its trademarks: Kickin' F/X. Granted, this was the dawning of the CGI era (Terminator 2 had just kicked box office ass the year before), so producers/directors probably got full of themselves thinking it could substitute for old fashioned plastic, latex and goo (more cheaply, too). But it sure didn't in this scene where the "dog Alien" confronts Ripley in the infirmary:
I'm not kidding: This scene led to guffaws from the audience at how fake it was. Because of the CGI. It would have been a lot better to utilize the original film's "slow moving" creature for a much more realistic (and frightening) effect.
TOTAL RECALL. This is on Taste of Cinema's list, and rightly so. This original Ahnuld version (1990) is a kick-ass film from start to finish, but if any one scene can ruin it ... it's this one:
You're already probably laughing (on purpose -- "Two weeks!!") at Ahnuld's malfunctioning robot disguise upon entering Mars customs, but when he finally reveals himself you'll be unintentionally howling -- at how awful the ersatz Schwarzenegger is done.
STAR WARS (EPISODE IV, 1977). This probably isn't fair since the original, "non-special" version was way ahead of its time at the time. But twenty years later showed us how inadequate the genuine article really was, especially the climactic Battle of Yavin. I always recall one scene after the Death Star first dispatched Tie Fighters to take on the X-Wings ship-to-ship. It's quick, but look how stiff the ships move in the original:
Check out the entire vid for great comparisons of the entire battle!
JAWS 2. Granted, the sequels that follow are undeniably worse; however, this was still fairly big budget and star Roy Scheider was still at the helm. So, how were the shark effects even worse than the original? Good question. I mean, check it:
I AM LEGEND. There's no excuse for this lameness. The film was made within the last decade, after all. Why are the albino vampires so CGI bad -- especially in the finale when they invade Will Smith's inner sanctum?
The killer virus must have led to mutant, elongated jaw bones, I guess.
THE THING (2011). This is another example of thinking CGI is inherently superior to old-style plastic and goo. This is the prequel to John Carpenter's scary-as-sh** 1982 classic, yet never really comes close to its 30 year-old predecessor mainly because of the effects. Don't get me wrong -- they're good, but take a gander at the following clip. The F/X indee are fine, but they're too ... "clean," not to mention quick. Carpenter's version showed fairly slow transformations, allowing the audience to wallow in the gore. But look at how fast this poor chump transforms into the Thing in the prequel:
DEEP BLUE SEA. This whole flick about mutated "super" sharks is littered with shi**y CGI effects (how can something move that fast in a liquid environment??), but perhaps none is worse than when Samuel L. Jackson gets nabbed by one:
Comics dolt Ron Marz shows his "vast intellect" again:
Delightful to see right wing, which howls about film/video game violence, now lacerate Jim Carrey because he's not supporting violent film.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) June 24, 2013
Um, Ron? Carrey starred in the very flick he's bitching about (Kick Ass 2). And while he claims filming wrapped a month or so before the Sandy Hook tragedy (and hence his views have since changed), here's the question(s): Did he give his paycheck back? Did he put his wallet where his [big] mouth is? There's no indication he has as yet, via a reading of various news sites today. A fan asked Ron just this (about Carrey's paycheck), and Marz refused to address it. Shocking.
So, with Carrey, as with way too many other "progressives," it's all just words. With Marz, it's (again) utter cluelessness.
Forum: What Is Your Prediction For The Outcome Of The Trayvon Martin Trial?
Who (what) are the coolest/baddest/neato-est mechanical creations in all of entertainment that you may not know about? In movies, comics, novels ... you name it. I'll name a few now, natch -- because no one demanded it!
R. DANEEL OLIVAW. Scifi master Isaac Asimov's ultimate robot, he becomes the guiding force for humanity's expansion throughout the Milky Way beginning with his first Robot novels (like Caves of Steel). Once Asimov died, his estate allowed other scifi writers to "play" in the Robot/Foundation universe, and for the culmination of everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) related to robots and the Foundation, check out David Brin's mindf*** Foundation's Triumph. Olivaw, as usual, is the central figure.
THE VISION. Marvel Comics' "Android Avenger," he was the creation of another Marvel robot, Ultron-5. Fitted with the brain patterns of the then-dead Wonder Man and reconstituted from the android frame of the Original Human Torch, Vizh eventually overcame Ultron's influence and joined the Avengers. My favorite era of Vision stories is Steve Englehart's run on Avengers from the mid-1970s, especially Avengers #147 when Vizh takes on three of the Squadron Supreme (including the super-strong Hyperion) to rescue his love, the Scarlet Witch.
R. GISKARD REVENTLOV. Another of Asimov's creations, this telepathic robot helped to form the "Zeroth Law" which superceded the original Three Laws of Robotics. It allowed robots to look out for humanity as a whole rather than individuals. Giskard deactivated after he, using the Zeroth Law, allowed a madman to turn Earth's crust radioactive (see: Robots and Empire). Why? Well, the madman's actions led to humanity spreading forth into the galaxy, but the [human] destruction of that action was too much even for Giskard's positronic brain.
THE IRON GIANT. The name of the protagonist of the lovable 1999 animated film is about a, well, giant robot that falls to Earth and is discovered by a little boy. Eventually the robot's true purpose is discovered, but the big guy "overcomes" it and shows what a true hero he is. Voices include Harry Connick Jr. and Vin Diesel as the Giant.
ADAM LINK. Before there was the awesome Star Trek: TNG episode "Measure of a Man," there was the episode of The Outer Limits featuring this robot. A robot, Adam, is charged with killing his creator. He goes to trial in a typical courtroom. Great scifi, but just try not to laugh at Adam sitting at the table in court.
SASQUATCH. Yes, I said "Sasquatch." Back when there was a show called The Six Million Dollar Man, one of the most popular episodes (go figure) was the two-parter featuring 'Squatch going up against Col. Steve Austin. Of course, it may help to fill you in that 'Squatch was a robot (else why would he be on this list?) and he was a servant of a group of aliens -- aliens like a very hot Stefanie Powers in a mini-skirt. Trivia: Wrestler Andre the Giant played 'Squatch.
IQ-9. This guy was the "comic relief" (sort of) of the awesome anime show Starblazers, or in the original Japanese Space Battleship Yamato. In that original, IQ-9 was called "Analyzer." I can only guess how ... "less" of a humorous diversion this robot was in the Japanese version, as I've read many times that the original was much more violent (i.e. realistic) than the American counterpart.
IMPERIOUS LEADER. This leader of the Cylons from the original Battlestar Galactica series (1978) was fashioned to look like the original reptilian race which created the robotic race. Voiced by Patrick MacNee (The Avengers ... the British spy series, not Earth's Mightiest Heroes) he (it?) was always seen in a darkened room barking orders to either the traitorous human Baltar, or the protocol Cylon Lucifer.
THE HUMAN ROBOT. One of Marvel Comics' (then Atlas Comics) earliest creations, this mechanical dude was revived in the comics Bronze Age in a terrific What If? issue (#9) which asked "What If the Avengers Had Fought Evil in the 1950s?" Even better, Kurt Busiek included M-11 (his technical designation, based on his first appearance in Menace #11) alongside the 1950s Avengers in the epic Avengers Forever mini-series. (Unfortunately, Immortus destroyed the 1950s Avengers timeline, but Marvel revived the group years later in Agents of Atlas.)
Because -- you guessed it! -- nobody demanded it, it's time for yet another Hube culture-oriented list, this time a subject which gets the hackles up on "progressives" (ex. 9/11 Truthers) and conservatives (ex. Birthers) alike: Conspiracies. In no particular order:
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976). So good it keeps me watching every time it's on, stars Dustin Hoffman and (ultra-lib) Robert Redford play Washington Post reporters Bernstein and Woodward who slowly uncover what happened during Watergate.
CAPRICORN ONE (1978). There's still a whole cottage industry on the 'net dedicated to moon landing conspiracies; this flick plays on that as government entities nab three astronauts from their rocket moments before the first manned launch to Mars, and convince them they need to stage the whole deal. (Budget cuts play a big role, go figure.) The trio realize, after acting out their parts, that the gov. can't afford to let them live, so they steal a jet to escape. Unfortunately, it's almost out of gas; sas such, they crash land in the desert, separate, and the chase is on! OJ Simpson is one of the astronauts, and Elliot Gould is the reporter who pieces together the truth. Many other stars abound in this flick including James Brolin, Sam Waterston, Telly Savalas and Hal Holbrook.
NO WAY OUT (1987). Guaranteed to elicit big "WTF???"s when the "secret" is revealed, Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman and Sean Young star in this political thriller. Hackman is the Secretary of Defense who accidentally kills a lady friend ... who Costner has also been seeing. To help cover his tracks, Hackman invents the story that a Russian mole killed her. Major "WTF"s ensue. Will Patton (Falling Skies) is great as Hackman's loyal aide.
J.F.K. (1991). Star Kevin Costner plays Jim Garrison, the Big Easy district attorney who takes it upon himself to prove that the Warren Commission conclusions about President Kennedy's death were so much bullsh**. I actually include this on the list because if you manage to stay awake for all the three-plus hours of the film, you deserve kudos. I managed to make it on my third viewing, the first complete one.
SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964). Ever wonder if our military guys planned a coup right here in the U.S. of A.? This flim will scare the beejeebees out of you, then. Burt Lancaster plays the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who plans to oust the president (Fredric March). Kirk Douglas plays a Lancaster underling who blows the whistle. The scene where Lancaster and March confront each other is classic.
MINORITY REPORT (2002). In 2054 a trio a psychics called "precogs" (for "precognition") are the basis for a new police unit: "Precrime." In other words, they'll stop the crime before it's ever committed. The unit's chief, Tom Cruise, unearths a frightening truth about the unit's origins, and is then framed. Great evilly deviousness by Max Von Sydow.
VALKYRIE (2008). Speaking of Tom Cruise, one of his better roles is in this flick where he plays a disillusioned Nazi officer during WWII who joins the [very true] conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.
BLUE THUNDER (1983). Helicopter pilot Roy Scheider discovers a plot by -- who else? -- the government to use a highly sophisticated new chopper for "the quelling" of domestic disturbances. Malcolm McDowell is the gov. agent who tries to stop him. Great urban aerial battle scenes.
SOYLENT GREEN (1973). One outta two predictions ain't bad. Global warming leads to food shortages (that's the "one") and overpopulation (the "missed one") exascerbates it. Police guy Chuck Heston stumbles upon a conspiracy that the Soylent Corp. is making its new "Soylent Green" outta ... people. Yummy.
THEY LIVE (1988). "First World" aliens have been using Earth as their "Third World" for decades. Roddy Piper discovers the secret via a special set of sunglasses. Still wondering how the aliens could whisk someone away at faster-than-light but couldn't safely protect their cloaking transmission.
... and that is that she's a Democrat who gave $$ to Boss Obama in 2008, and invited Michelle Obama to cook with her on her TV show.
Senator Brian Schatz’s (D-HI) filed an amendment for the immigration bill Wednesday that would allow stateless people in the U.S. to seek conditional lawful status if their nations have been made uninhabitable by climate change.
As Ace says, "Pull the plug -- NOW."
The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with Big Politically Correct Brother.
Full results are here.
... to quote my boy Duffy as seen elsewhere, that is. Lien Placed On Mayor Nutter’s Home For Failure To Pay PGW Bill is a headline at CBS Philly. It seems PGW had to place that lien on Nutjob's home, but which was settled about a month ago, according to the article.
The mayor's spokesmouth said that "Nutter’s PGW account is now 'current' and that his failure to pay previously was 'a private matter' and refused to discuss how it came about that Nutter owed so much." When asked what sort of message the mayor's tardiness sends to the public, the spokesmouth said “I don’t think it sends a message of one sort or another. The mayor tries to stay current on his bills like everyone else.”
Uh huh. As Duffy said, "Philadelphia explained."
io9 (again) asks the question. My clear favorite is Starship Troopers; what's yours?
I gotta admit I didn't know all the entries on the list were based on novels ... like Soylent Green, for instance. Nevertheless, despite its unfaithfulness, it remains a classic. As does Children of Men. (Though technically based on a novel of the same name, CoM indeed borrows heavily from Brian Aldiss's Greybeard which was published nearly thirty years prior. I highly recommend the book.)
Number 12 on io9's list is "Almost Every Philip K. Dick Movie." Blade Runner is an example, though in my view, though "unfaithful," it isn't very "unfaithful." The novel is indeed much, well, "freakier" (Earth is contaminated cesspool for the most part, real-life animals play a key role, and the scene where Deckard is almost trapped in a fake police station is surreal) but the central elements are all there.
What are some other entries that are worthy?
ITEM: Our new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, "jokingly" asks an Indian college prof if he's "a member of the Taliban":
As JWF asks, "What is it with these bigots constantly insulting Indians?"
ITEM: Then there's southern cooking guru Paula Deen, who apparently likes using the "N" word a lot. I don't know which is more disturbing -- Deen's predilection for racial slurs, or those who wish she'd die because of it ... like the supposedly "tolerant" comics writer Gail Simone:
Paula Deen, please eat lots more butter. LOTS more. And some rocks and dirt and poison.— GailSimone (@GailSimone) June 20, 2013
ITEM: Insty's Glenn Reynolds thinks the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case in Florida was "all about boosting black turnout for 2012."
ITEM: Ace discusses an uncomfortable fact about the immigration debate: the high Latino DUI rate.
ITEM: John Rosenberg showcases An Unusually Wacky Defense Of Affirmative Action:
Tanya Hernandez, a law professor at Fordham, argues that affirmative action is necessary to counteract the implicit biases of university admissions officers and prevent from discriminating against blacks. Really. I’m not making this up.
She really does argue that that admissions officers — probably the most pro-preference cohort of citizens anywhere — need affirmative action to keep them from acting like bigots.
Hernandez also argues that the academic achievement gap is the result [white] teacher racism (or, "implicit biases"). Gee, now where have I heard that before?
UPDATE: Yeesh, how could I forget this one? The prez of the Chicago Teachers Union has blamed "racism" and “rich white people” for the fiscal hassles of her city's schools.
io9 has a year-old article about films that were considered and even almost made, to one degree or another. Some were quite fascinating:
Is Bobby Jindal’s reputation for intelligence anything other than ethnic stereotyping?— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 18, 2013
To which Fort Liberty [rightly] tweets that this "reminds me of Biden's racist comment about Indians working at 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts."
At least, yes.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Today at Philly.com:
Just imagine what they'd read if, y'know, a certain guy named Bush was still in the White House ...
On Fathers Day we posted this pic of Boss Obama setting a great example for gun control. Yesterday, frequent "progressive" talking head Marc Lamont Hill took to Twitter to express his disappointment:
Was anyone else bothered by the Father's Day picture released by the White House yesterday? The one with the President holding a water gun?— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) June 17, 2013
I agree with the President's stance on SENSIBLE gun control. But we must also destroy gun culture. President Obama made a mistake this time.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) June 17, 2013
Gun culture is promoted through the normalization of violent behavior, language, and imagery. Military style water guns are part of that.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) June 17, 2013
(h/t to Twitchy.)
First, you guessed it -- an MSNBC panel labeled pro-lifers as white supremacists: Panel Suggests Racist Motivation by Pro-lifers, Goal of 'Reproducing Whiteness'
So I think that there's a kind of moral panic, a fear of the end of whiteness that we've been seeing a long time in that I think, you know, Obama's ascension as President kind of symbolizes to a certain degree. And so I think this is one response to that sense that there's a decreasing white majority in the country and that women's bodies and white women's bodies in particular are obviously a crucial way of reproducing whiteness, white supremacy, white privilege. And so I think it's just a kind of clamping down on women's bodies, in particular white women's bodies, even though women of color are really caught in the fray.
Of course, what this dolt (University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor Salamisha Tillet) fails to realize is that pro-lifers don't just care about white babies. And, since black women are approximately five times more likely to have an abortion than white women, how is lobbying to eliminate that statistic ... an example of wanting to preserve the white race??? Unbelievable.
Elsewhere, I was alerted to a recent (and past) post by one of my favorite scifi authors, John Scalzi, on the subject of white privilege. Scalzi has written the superb Old Man's War series, the most recent book of which is The Human Division. Unfortunately, Scalzi, like many other a successful liberal, feels the need to assuage his guilt over his having "made it" by giving a rhetorical hat tip to his fellow "progressive" academic types (like the above Professor Salamisha Tillet). But Michael Z. Williamson takes Scalzi to task:
Predictably, when invited to discuss the issue further with the above people, in a polite email, Scalzi completely ignored the issue. I can't presume his motives, but someone did suggest that the purpose of his posts is more to promote his books in the guilt-ridden, white, racist, liberal sellout market than to actually accomplish debate.
I have no doubt from his scribblings that Scalzi played life on the easy setting. Now that he's gotten rich, he needs to properly excoriate his success to avoid being a bad liberal.
An actual racist (I've met a few) would say, "Well, yes, I've done well, because I'm genetically and intellectually better than those lesser races." They would have no reason to get upset with his post, because it would tell them exactly what they wanted to hear: That they're at the top of the heap, awesome.
I had lengthy discussions with black writers and editors about Scalzi's post, and their concurrence seemed to be that it was shallow. I'll go a step further: It was an elitist white male passively-aggressively talking down to others about how awesome he is, but he feels guilty about it, so don't judge him too harshly.
How about going even further? If Scalzi is so guilty about having made it, partly (mainly?) because of the "leg up" he initially started with, why doesn't he abrogate the rights to his published properties to a minority writer and let him/her continue the stories? The same premise applies to the imbecilic Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Schultz, et. al.: Really put you money where your mouth is. Resign your position and hand it over to a member of a minority group. Otherwise, you're a bloviating hypocrite like way too many a vocal "progressive."
UPDATE: Nate notes in the comments a blogger who has dissected Scalzi's "progressivism" quite thoroughly.
UPDATE: Scalzi digs in deeper, claiming he doesn't feel guilty about being a straight white male, and delves further into the usual I-know-better-than-you condescension. In spades.
Jesse Daniels, 53, is accused of endangering the welfare of children for the actions he took after catching four boys in the act of vandalizing his father-in-law’s home over the weekend. With extensive damage done to the inside of the house, Daniels and his wife called 911 — and he went inside of the residence to confront the boys.
But that’s not all: Daniels put the kids inside of a closet while he waited for authorities to arrive. It was this latter action that created an even bigger legal conundrum.
Two days after this debacle, the police went back to Daniels’ home and arrested him. The parents of the children, claiming that the man threatened the kids with the hammer and was rough with them, insisted that charges be filed. So, Daniels faces four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
The local man could face up to one year in county jail for each offense, meaning that a total of four years of detention, pending Daniels receives the max penalty, could be his ultimate ramification.
The parents insist their angels are "traumatized" by the incident -- by Daniels' supposed threats, that is, not by what they did to the house, natch. Daniels estimates that some $40,000 in damage was done to the residence. One of the parents is demanding increased charges against Daniels ... even though admitting the kids' actions were "unacceptable."
One commenter expresses my own reaction perfectly: "The boys are traumatized? My old man would have traumatized my ass."
Got that right, brother.
We gotta figure out how "to create education better." So says Ms. Utah from last night's Miss USA competition:
Forum: Do You Think The Obama Administration’s Decision to Get Actively Involved in The Syrian Civil War Is A Good Idea?
This guy's descended into the "beyond parody" realm:
Or something. It must be, if these "researchers" are to be in any way taken seriously:
Parents who read their kids stories about happy, human-like animals like "Franklin the Turtle" or "Arthur" at bedtime are exposing their kids to racism, materialism, homophobia and patriarchal norms, according to a paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Most animals portrayed in children’s books, songs and on clothing send a bad message, according to academics Nora Timmerman and Julia Ostertag: That animals only exist for human use, that humans are better than animals, that animals don’t have their own stories to tell, that it’s fine to “demean” them by cooing over their cuteness. Perhaps worst of all, they say, animals are anthropomorphized to reinforce “socially dominant norms” like nuclear families and gender stereotypes.
Saying "academics" like these clowns "have too much time on their hands" is like saying house flies like excrement. And I'm sure their "theories" have good company.
The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with The All Seeing State.
Full results are here.
In honor of the upcoming Man of Steel and as an homage to the terrific io9 scifi site's "12 Weirdest Moments From Superman: The Movie," 'ol Hube is doing his very own list. Why? You guessed it -- because no one demanded it, natch.
1) Goofy Powers. Everyone I knew guffawed when Supes tossed that "S" from his chest at the bruiser, Non, in his Fortress of Solitude. What was that -- Kryptonian cellophane? And that white beam from the Kryptonians' fingers which did, well, pretty much whatever they wanted? Whaaa ...? And don't get me started on Clark's kiss on Lois which caused her to forget! COME ON!!
2) Zod kicks an astronaut; guy barely moves. When Zod, Ursa and Non are freed from the Phantom Zone and land on our moon, they terrorize a few astronauts who are there. Check out when Zod picks up the one -- he kicks him ... but the astronaut merely floats away. With Zod's new yellow sun-induced superpowers and the moon's low gravity, that astronaut should have at least reached escape velocity! After all, a few seconds before, Ursa did pretty much that. Check out the effect of Zod's lame boot:
3) How did the Phantom Zone Trio reshape Mt. Rushmore in, like, two seconds? You tell me, 'cause it's stupid:
4) What super hearing? In the climactic battle in the Fortress of Solitude -- when Zod and co. hold the upper hand (and Lois hostage) -- Superman begins whispering to Luthor (who Zod had ordered killed, again -- more on that in a moment) about "getting them all into this molecule chamber." Uh, wait a second: How is it remotely possible that Zod and crew can't hear every word Supes is saying? (Not to mention how Supes would forget that Zod, et. al., could hear him?)
Speaking of which ...
5) Why do Zod and co. just stand around while Superman and Luthor chat (whisper) to one another? What are they doing? Notice that even the mute Non sorta motions to Luthor while he heads over to Supes in a "Hey, wait a minute" sorta way:
6) Why does Luthor continue to court Zod's "goodwill" after the villain orders his death several times? Seriously. I know Luthor is a maniacal genius psychopath, but there are at least three times Zod orders him killed (the White House, the Daily Planet, Fortress of Solitude) yet Lex is still there trying to wheel and deal with the general. Lex had remarked at the attack on the Daily Planet building that "Ya'd think with all this accumulated knowledge these guys would learn to use a doorknob;" one would think Lex would get the hint that Zod couldn't care less about him, any deals notwithstanding.
7) Dad didn't teach Kal-El very well in those twelve years. Ah, yes -- the 'ol diner scene where a bully trucker kicks the sh** out of a recently depowered Clark Kent. OK, I'll easily buy that the trucker is now stronger; however, what did Jor-El teach his son in those dozen years leading to adulthood? You mean to tell me there wasn't at least one course in fighting techniques and/or self-defense? And if you're thinking that Jor-El probably skipped those lessons because his son is invulnerable on Earth, keep in mind that Clark tells Lois (in the diner, too) that "They knew." Meaning, his parents knew about the potential threat from Zod and co. (and perhaps others).
8) Young kid climbs over rail at Niagara Falls, no one cares. OK, yeah, the mom of this moron won't win any parenting awards, but what about the public in general? Was this Apathy Day in Canada or something? Not to mention -- what kid is this fearless that he'd do something like this?? Lastly, is there a strange gravity gradient or something at the US-Canada border that causes people to fall a lot slower than normal? The kid would'a hit the drink long before Supes got there if there was real gravity.
9) Best winter garb: Thin Members Only jacket and penny loafers. Right after the above-mentioned diner scene, Clark tells Lois he has to go back (to the North Pole) to see if there's some way to regain his powers. So what does he do? He walks there ... with the clothes he's wearing at the moment.
10) Zod's heat vision has problems with tankers. After zapping a few cars with his heat vision -- cars which instantly blow up (despite Zod not even having a line-of-sight to their gas tanks), it suddenly takes the General what, a good thirty seconds to attempt to blow up the fuel tank on that tanker??
11) How does a snake bite hurt Ursa? After she, Zod and Non land on the Planet "Hooston," she picks up a rattlesnake to check it out. Like any such snake would, it promptly bites her ... and she reacts in pain! Like ... why? She just got through traveling through the vacuum of space, yet a mere snakebite causes her to wince. Uh huh.
12) "We used to play this game as a kid." In the final battle at the North Pole, Supes inexplicably creates duplicates of himself to confuse Zod and crew. One of these doppelgangers tells Lois "We used to play this game in school; he was never really good at it." I used to think Supes was talking about himself here, y'know, as in here on Earth with his [human] friends. But no -- he's preposterously referring to him and Zod ... as in back on Krypton. Did the producers ever bother to watch the first film? Supes (Kal-El) was an infant on Krypton, and was promptly launched into space by his pop when the planet was about to blow up. Zod was an adult who was caught and sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone alongside Ursa and Non. YEESH.
From our Wilmington News Journal: Eight-month erection leads to malpractice lawsuit by truck driver.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Funny I've been hearing of late that school lunch programs are vital because it's the only meal some of these kids get all day. My question: how do they survive all summer?
The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.
The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.
Now, here is a crucial piece of background: It turns out we had an earlier plateau in global warming, from roughly the 1950s to the 1970s, and scientists do not fully understand that one either. A lot of evidence suggests that sunlight-blocking pollution from dirty factories may have played a role, as did natural variability in ocean circulation. The pollution was ultimately reduced by stronger clean-air laws in the West.
As Steyn notes, "So environmental laws led to the global warming of the Eighties and Nineties? Great!"
Levity aside, I've been fairly consistent in that I don't dispute there is indeed climate change; what I do dispute is the radical environmentalist alarmism, the demand that we must do something about climate change NOW or we're irrevocably doomed to burn in Hell.
... so what does NBC's website do? Trot out "experts" to show how the peons in the poll are clueless:
Weldon Latham, a Washington DC attorney, advises that "just below the surface" things aren't that positive because "things that are very important, like jobs -- African-American jobs and female jobs are still some percentage below what white males are.” Latham "advises corporations on diversity issues." What do you think he would say?
Kevin Brown is the next person consulted, a law professor at Indiana University. Though he acknowledges that the election of Barack Obama was a great positive -- wait for it! -- he "stressed the ongoing need for programs to assist minorities." One of Brown's beefs is that too many "international" blacks are snagging spots at elite colleges instead of "traditional" African-Americans. Brown has written articles critical of Clarence Thomas, critical of "disproportionate" school discipline, and in support of affirmative action.
Princeton sociology prof Thomas J. Espenshade is up next, co-author of “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal.” Gee, what do you think his opinion is? Just take a gander at this NY Times op-ed of his, in which he writes "We also found that self-segregation dilutes the educational benefits of diversity that proponents of affirmative action rightly prize." In other words, he's a fan of that "critical mass" made famous (or infamous) by the noted Michigan affirmative action cases which stressed (among other things) the educational "benefits" of a [racially] diverse student population. ("Benefits" which are highly questionable.)
Then there's Richard Kahlenberg, the only semi-critic of [race-based] AA, who argues that class-based AA -- based on income -- would make more sense. But he was critical of a study which argued that busing (moving poor children to more affluent schools) had little educational benefits. Nevertheless, he's quickly shot down in the NBC article by the aforementioned Brown, who says that Kahlenberg "misses the point" ... that "it's really both (socioeconomic status and race)."
Who's quoted in the article who supports the polls findings? No one.
Hey, how 'bout that? From Bleeding Cool:
The United States vs. PFC Bradley Manning: A Graphic Account From Inside the Courtroom is an upcoming graphic novel by Wikileaks supporter, writer and artist Clark Stoeckley, who has been attending the trial daily and making drawings of all he sees. And interprets.
Although you won’t have to wait till the official September publishing date. Those who preorder copies directly from the publisher OR Books, will receive weekly updates on the trial from Clark’s perspective and pen, some of it exclusive to the update.
Anyone fancy doing a sequel for Edward Snowden?
*Yawn* Just as we noted here, contemporary comics creators are quite selective in their outrage. There's Manning and now Snowden; however, where's the upcoming comic(s) about the victims of IRS abuse? Of EPA abuse? They don't count because remember -- to differ with a "progressive" isn't just a difference of opinion. It means you're an evil person ... and therefore must be crushed.
Who says? Predictable moonbat Chuck Rangel, that's who:
“You have to have some confidence in this president,” Rangel said on MSNBC. “Quite frankly, if it was a different president, I might take a different look at the legislation.”
Yeah -- confidence that he'll do whatever it takes to trounce his political enemies. First there was the IRS scandal, this NSA mess, and now the EPA is joining in.
Saw a great quote on Twitter last night about the whole NSA/spying flap: It used a classic line from M*A*S*H's Colonel Flagg (from the episode "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler"). In the episode, a shell-shocked bombardier has come to believe he is Jesus Christ, so Hawkeye and BJ call in Dr. Sidney Freedman, the show's every-now-and-then psychiatrist. Unbeknownst to the protagonists, recurring CIA nutjob Flagg has also been dispatched to investigate the matter.
In the conclusion, Flagg lets Freedman have it in Col. Potter's office:
You're not smart, Freedman. You're dumb. Very dumb! But you've met your match in me! Chandler may get out as a psycho -- he's small potatoes. The army can teach my mother how to drop bombs. But, you, Major, are here to stay! Right here, shrink! Where we can make sure you remain loyal to the country that's gonna hound your every step!
Lindsey Grudnicki details the brazen hypocrisy. Here's a taste:
1. December 15, 2005, Senate floor statement on the PATRIOT Act:
This is just plain wrong. Giving law enforcement the tools they need to investigate suspicious activity is one thing – and it’s the right thing – but doing it without any real oversight seriously jeopardizes the rights of all Americans and the ideals America stands for.
2. February 16, 2006, Senate floor statement on the PATRIOT Act Reauthorization:
Soon after the PATRIOT Act passed, a few years before I ever arrived in the Senate, I began hearing concerns from people of every background and political leaning that this law didn’t just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers it didn’t need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion.
I reiterate: How can we believe anything from this inept administration ever again?
It's been around three years(!) since the last update; there've been many changes since then (mostly blogs which have become defunct!). Check it out here.
Via, of all people, Matthew Dowd at ABCNews.com:
I am sorry that, as a United States senator and presidential candidate, I was critical of you about so many things I now, myself, am doing.
I am sorry about saying Guantanamo would be closed immediately and it was a blight on America. It is still wide open for business.
I am sorry for criticizing you and your administration for intrusions on American's privacy and invasions into personal liberties. My NSA took what you did and put it on steroids.
I am sorry for criticizing the way you waged the war on terror. I have personally approved a number of drone strikes and actually have said it is OK to kill an American on foreign soil without due process. I know you are probably saying, "Aren't you the expert on the Constitution?" but, as you know, being president is hard work.
And, by the way, between you and me, I know your vice president was probably upset my administration got Osama Bin Laden (I get the sense he might have some anger issues and I sure wish he would have kept quiet like you have), but it was really thanks to you and my continuation of your national security policies.
I am sorry for all my overheated rhetoric about your administration not being transparent and saying my administration would be the most transparent in history and most open to the media. Boy, was I off on that one, and certain reporters at the Associated Press and Fox News don't seem to understand why we might put them under secret scrutiny.
As they say, read the whole thing.
The non-Council winner was Ayaan Hirss Ali with The Problem of Muslim Leadership.
Full results are here.
... we're talking about a conservative. Case in point: comics guy Kurt Busiek. He tweets yesterday about the recent NSA/spying flap:
David Simon of THE WIRE on the NSA scandal. Or "scandal," perhaps: davidsimon.com/we-are-shocked…— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) June 7, 2013
Kurt goes on to say "I mean, we can suddenly flip out that the government is made up of werewolves, but shouldn't there be some evidence first?" and complains about "overreaching without any evidence for it is imagination, not reportage."
But let's go back a bit in time, shall we? When Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot by a lunatic, Busiek wasn't exactly in "wait and see" mode. Well, he said he was, but then contemplated what we all heard ad nauseum throughout the MSM:
I wrote in the comments at the time:
I've absolutely NO hassle with anyone pontificating on matters political, whatever your field of endeavor. However, if you're in Kurt's field, it is ridiculous to expect NO criticism in response to your outspokenness. In regards to the Giffords shooting, Kurt immediately took the Reflexive Left's penchant for invoking conservative "hate" rhetoric as a "cause" for a killer's/terrorist's actions. Yes, he did say "we need to wait and see," but then again, Kurt did not exactly wait, did he? Moreover, by exclusively focusing on Palin, the Right, and moronic a-holes like that hateful comics vendor, Busiek effectively alienates approximately half of his fan base. And then people complain when those alienated point to his comments?
Of course, there was no word from Busiek (at least none that I saw at the time, or since) about the Left's "irresponsible" use of imagery like crosshairs, etc. They use such all the time, too.
And we're still waiting on some enlightened commentary by these creators regarding some of the other Obama scandals. Or, will they, like Busiek above, put that plural of the term in quotes, too?
RELATED: Oh-so-smart Ron Marz, who also has ignored the IRS, press spying, and Benghazi scandals, has the balls to tweet this:
Six people dead in a shooting in Santa Monica, and it's not even a trending topic. Doubly depressing.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) June 8, 2013
The Washington scandals have been trending for weeks now, Ron. With nary a word from you and your ilk. Triply depressing.
That's the question of the day.
Two scholars who each primarily identify as a scholar of critical race/whiteness studies and a scholar of disability studies, respectively, engage in this article in a purposeful dialogue that responds to the invitation put forth by Baglieri, Bejoian, Broderick, Connor, and Valle to engage with the construct of inclusive education, writ large. Through purposeful engagement with one another’s discourse communities, the authors explore both the challenge and the tremendous promise of more theoretically integrated efforts toward abolishing ideological systems of oppression in schooling.
Even better are the "Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study," and the "Conclusions/Recommendations." Did you know that “smartness” is "an ideological system" and has its basis in ... whiteness? In addition, "smartness is nothing but false and oppressive." Who knew? Who knew that being bright, and that studying and working hard to improve one's intellect not only is "false," but keeps others down?? Is this merely a ridiculously wordy way of saying "Studying and being smart is 'acting white?'" At last! The "validation" that minorities need to do zilch in school!
But the best is saved for last! See if you can decipher this one: "... attempts to theoretically rearticulate or rehabilitate smartness may serve to illuminate, but ultimately fail to dissolve, the normative center of schooling."
I can't think of a more clever way to say "absolute bullsh**."
From the National Review writer in his e-mailed Morning Jolt this morning:
And as Jonah mentioned a few Goldberg Files ago (my link -- Hube), our evil Starfleet admiral — hey, we haven't seen one of those since Star Trek: Insurrection! — is evil because he's trying to "militarize" Starfleet (you know, that big armada of torpedo-armed starships with crews organized by naval ranks) to prepare for a war with the Klingon Empire he thinks is inevitable. What Abrams & Co. have decided is the plot's "evil plan" is actually absolute common sense, and our heroes' brief interaction with the Klingons only confirms the admiral's analysis that the Klingons are relentlessly hostile and aggressive.
I wrote about this as well, natch.
Maybe the whole thing is meant as a very, very subtle parody of the pacifist nature of future humanity, and how our "progess" into a nonaggressive, conflict-avoiding culture will slowly but surely quietly doom us when we encounter an alien culture like the Klingons or Romulans.
Which some may argue that's just what the Boss Obama administration is doing to the country now ...
... which is fine, of course, but again we see their utter hypocrisy, not to mention selectivity. First, there's Mark "Go F*** Yourself" Waid:
An amazing (and dead-on) piece about Bradley Manning (who, IMO, is being GROSSLY overcriminalized by the govt): rollingstone.com/politics/blogs…— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) June 7, 2013
And Rick Remender:
"The debate we should be having is over whether as a people we approve of the acts he uncovered..." rol.st/123mSln— Rick Remender (@Remender) June 7, 2013
Again, the "rightness" of Manning's actions are certainly debatable; what cracks me up is that there has been nary a word from these guys about the one-scandal-after-another Boss Obama administration: Benghazi, the DOJ snooping on the AP and other reporters, the IRS, and now the NSA data-collecting matter. When they do, we get the usual muddle, like with Ed Brubaker here:
washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog… Seems like the real scandal is that any of these groups get tax exempt status in the first place.— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) May 14, 2013
In subsequent posts, Brubaker claimed that he's "not a fan of either side, even slightly," and that "none of them (503 [c] groups) should be granted tax exempt status when they're clearly not 'non-political.'" But again, to Brubaker, this is the REAL scandal -- not that the IRS is abusing its power. Hell, perhaps even scarier is Ed saying "I think every group from any side of the political spectrum that raises money for political reason should be investigated."
Yeah, great -- to hell with free speech. Let's give the feds even more investigatory power, whether through the IRS, FBI or whoever. Because you're raising money for a political candidate you like. Wonderful.
Need I say it? Just imagine if these scandals were occurring under George W. Bush's watch. Think there'd be a paucity of tweets about the scandals then? HA. Indeed, aside from the innumerable tweets, there'd be stuff like this aplenty.
So says journalist Jeremy Scahill who has a new film out titled Dirty Wars. It's about the US's covert operations overseas during the GWoT (General War on Terror). On Boss Obama he says,
He’s expanded an air war in Yemen; Bush bombed Yemen once that we know of. Obama shut down the black sites, but he’s using a sort of back door way of continuing it but saying, ‘It’s other nations’ security forces that are doing the snatch and grab; we’re just asking the questions. … I think that a lot of liberals sort of checked their conscience at the coatroom for the two terms of Obama and are silent in the face of things that they’d be crying impeachment over if a Republican had done them.
You really think so? They didn't do it to George W. Bush from 2003 to 2008 when he supposedly "lied" about WMDs in Iraq, among other things. On the other hand, the GOP impeached Bill Clinton for what -- lying under oath to hide an affair? So, I think this is a bit unfair to liberals/Democrats.
(Many thanks to Nate Winchester for this terrific guest post!)
There is a vital, core technique that entertainers must use when engaging their audiences. With magicians, it is called "misdirection" or "sleight of hand". With writers it is called most often "suspension of disbelief." The principle remains the same. As the audience, you are to look here, not "over there" where the "trick" is being worked. When it's done badly, the magician "flops" while writers end up with what SF Debris coined, "the Voodoo Shark."
What does this have to do with comics? The more fantastical a story, the more disbelief a suspension system must support. How Superman flies, how the Flash runs, how Wolverine kicks ass, all of these are questions that, when we pick up a book (or watch the movie/show based on the book) we make an agreement with the media producers not to think about. A quick, half-answer to soothe the rational mind is all we need: he's an alien, the speed force, he's a mutant.
However this goes beyond "how do the characters work", this also goes to "how does the world work." For ease of writers and readers the world of DC, Marvel et al is usually assumed to be very similar to that of the present real world of the writers and readers, even though logically, if just a tiny fraction of what happened there, happened here, things would change to probably be near unrecognizable. One example: gun control. If you have a state in the world where random people pack more potential power and destruction than any hand gun, would gun ownership be that much of a political debate? Think about it. Once upon a time, sword ownership in Japan (to pick an example) was under many restrictions. Yet we don't have "sword & knife control" in many political debates. Why? Because the power level of guns has raised the bar to the point that owning a blade doesn't have the "impact" it might have once had (to pick one reason). Thus, likewise in a world of superheroes, everyday gun ownership would be the equivalent of everyday sword ownership today - not too much of a concern.
This all leads into one of the biggest traps that comics can fall into and why DC's The Movement will fail: politics. Now good comics can result from bringing up these normally repressed world questions and dealing with them. Watchmen is a pretty decent example of at least an attempt to untangle this otherworldly Gordian knot. How about some bad examples (pulling just from my own blog) ...
In the Nu52 Green Lantern Corps (you'll have to scroll down), someone has put their views into John Stewart's mouth a time or two. Like having him fight "greedy developers." Why are these developers "so greedy" that they don't bother taking steps to make them more profit in the long run? How in the world did they get that rich being so shortsighted? In the DCU, why isn't "superhuman battle-proof" building design as common as the compensations for earthquakes in buildings of California?
One of the worst examples of all time: JLA #83. How often has the JLA violated "international law" in just a random issue? Private property? How can the world's greatest detective not figure this shit out? There's a reason this issue was left out of trade paper backs of this volume of JLA and it's for so many good reasons.
And lest someone think it has to do WITH politics, here's a bit where Superman renounced his citizenship.
According to a commentator, this was actually written by a conservative frustrated with some of Obama's policies. That doesn't matter nor change the complaint. The question of "how does Superman's citizenship work" is not one readers need to be asking. It collapses the whole story.
So, let's go back to what started this all, The Movement. Why will this fail? Because it's trying to put politics into a hole it can't fit, which means even if people AGREE with its point, their suspension of disbelief is going to crack from the strain. Without even reading it (unless Hube is going to buy me a copy for me to review/spork on his site here):
This is why you avoid trying put modern day issues into comics without care, skill and consideration for their implications. If you can't write well, then don't bother writing it at all.
The author of Superior Spider-Man who, in case you didn't know, has placed the mind of the villain Dr. Octopus into the body of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. (Pete's mind, or soul, is still around ... somewhere.) Many fans have a big issue with this, including Doug Ernst who's written several posts about it. In fact, Doug's main point in this provocative post is that Ock/Spidey attempted to destroy every human being on planet Earth. Yet ... Slott took to Twitter yesterday defending Ock's right to "redemption." One fan, however, echoed Doug:
In response, Slott offered this:
Darth Vader helped destroy Alderaan. Yet HE had a redemptive arc. (Is that fair?)— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) June 6, 2013
"Redemptive arc?" Like what -- Return of the Jedi? Did Slott forget that Vader was mortally wounded ... and then died towards the end of the film? That is the "fairness" of that arc -- that Vader suffered the same fate as that which he "bestowed" upon many others. Hell, Slott only needs to look back into the history of one of his company's most famous stories, the "Dark Phoenix" saga. The original plot by Chris Claremont and John Byrne had Prof. X and the Shi'ar merely "excising" the Phoenix Force from Jean Grey. Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter stepped in, however, and demanded that Jean be killed; after all, what justice is it to merely do some brain surgery ... after one has annihilated an entire star system??
Or, as Doug and Thomas Patterson might ask: "Would performing a lobotomy on Hitler be adequate 'justice' for Nazi atrocities in WW 2?"
Here's hoping that Slott's current "hero" meets a similar fate as Vader.
“Moral responsibility is the essence of humanity. It is what sets Homo sapiens apart from other animals. Assigning moral responsibility to whites while denying it to nonwhites is therefore a way of dehumanizing the latter. Multiculturalism turns out to be a disguised form of white supremacy.”
Indeed. The examples are too numerous to mention, but recently there's MSNBC's Martin Bashir who thinks we can't say "IRS" anymore because that'd be calling Boss Obama the "N" word, and the commenter "Proud Progressive" at JoshuaPundit who says there's nothing linking the scandal to Obama -- it's just that the GOP can't "stand the idea of a black man kicking the Republican's butts and being in the White House." In other words, like Taranto said, Bashir and PP are denying moral responsibility to a non-white: Barack Obama (I know, I know, he's half white, but "progressives" always ignore that).
Who's "racist," again?
I thought Mediaite was a serious politically-oriented website. The fact that they employ the blithering cretin "Tommy Christopher" proves otherwise.
Administration defends collecting phone records: "The order requires Verizon, one of the nation's largest telecommunications companies, on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries."
If you think Verizon is the only company that was forced to comply you're dreaming. They're probably pissed they're going to take the stock and PR hit while everyone else just keeps mum. This is absolutely Orwellian. "Oh they're not recording the contents of the calls, just the metadata." Really? That's what you're going with? So would it also be OK if I just made random checkpoints miles from the border and had it staffed by border agents who stopped EVERY driver for questioning or if I could seize your private property and give it to someone else because I felt like it? What if the ATF decided it should shore up the reason for its own existence by letting drug cartels buy weapons? Or if the government started targeting political enemies by punishing them with regulation, paperwork and endless, over reaching requests? It would be like living in a totalitarian society. Thanks to our Dear Leader for keeping us safe and uh..free.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Via The Corner: MSNBC's Martin Bashir claims that saying "IRS" is akin to saying -- wait for it! -- "ni**er."
Yes, I'm serious.
The first vid from my favorite, Los Amigos Invisibles', new album Repeat After Me. It's "La Que Me Gusta":
... titled "I Am A Conservative 503(c)(3) Applicant"? After all, these ridiculous peons have made an "I Am Bradley Manning" video in support of the notorious leaker.
Some of the lines from the vid (with possible ones for my hypothetical one):
“When you join the military, are you asked to keep any war crimes you might see secret?” ("When you apply for a 503(c)(3), are you asked intimate questions about your personal life ... even that of your friends?")
“You see something that is so wrong," claimed [Oliver] Stone, "it’s very hard for a lower-level soldier to turn on his officers and say, ‘There was a war crime here.’” ("You see something that is so wrong ... it's very hard for low-level IRS employees to turn to their superiors and say 'This is illegal.'")
"The whole concept of whistleblower laws are you cannot get into for reporting about illegal or improper activities," added [Matt] Taibbi. (Repeat verbatim!)
"I think we have to be clear that the cables were not top secret documents," asserted [Chris] Hedges. ("I think we have to be clear that 'progressive' groups applying for tax-exempt status were sailed through, whereas conservative groups were subjected to incredibly invasive -- and possibly illegal -- scrutiny.")
"It’s an absurd charge - 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy,'" stated another unknown man. ("It's an absurd statement -- Obama and others saying 'I had no idea about any of this.'")
*Sigh* I think my pal Chris says its best on Twitter.
School year, that is. Actually, it's not completely over yet; the next four days are dedicated to final exams. But all that remains is grading them, then entering them, and then year 22 comes to a close. I saw this morning a few tweets by comics guy Jimmy Palmiotti which definitely made me feel good:
At the end of the school year , all parents should tip their high school teachers. Really.— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) June 5, 2013
We tip Starbucks people and not a dime to teachers who have to deal with our kids day after day. Makes no sense.— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) June 5, 2013
There are bad teachers sure, but there are amazing ones that deserve a little extra when they change our kids lives.— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) June 5, 2013
Now, before you plotz, I am not advocating what Palmiotti said -- that you should tip your kid's teachers -- but the sentiment is surely a good one. Besides, many teachers get little gifts from students as a token of their appreciation at the end of the year and during the holidays (I got my first one yesterday -- a $15 gift card to Olive Garden!). At any rate, my point, such that it is, isn't to complain about how hard teachers have it or what a terrific job we all do. No, it's merely to point out that, despite the many cultural, societal and political changes over the years which have placed more and more onus on teachers for just about anything you can think of, there are a heck of a lot of great kids out there ... and parents, too. Too often, that gets overlooked by many in our profession at this time of the year.
And, to me, there's rarely anything more special than getting a little something -- like a small, handwritten "thank you" note -- from that nice, quiet, academically average student in the back row who never really said that much all year. To coin a cliché, "That makes it all worthwhile." Really.
Forum: What Quality Was Or Is Most Important To You When It Comes To Seeking A Partner, Lover Or Spouse?
When Men fight they are directly hostile. Not so with women. Witness:
These women hate each other and do so with a smile.
Bleeding Cool has a pic of the Oval Office from next year's sure-to-be-blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past. The guy behind the desk is obviously ... Richard Nixon. It's already been established that the film will take place in the early 1970s; it'll be curious if Watergate will play into the film considering 1) X-Men First Class director Matthew Vaughn has already been shown to be somewhat of a Kennedy assassination truther, and 2) the current situation with Boss Obama and all his scandals. It wouldn't be surprising if Marvel's Merry Mutants figure into the scandal which brought down Nixon; First Class had the mutants being key figures in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
"Days of Future Past" remains one of the all-time classics not only in X-Men lore, but in that of comics in general. Creators Chris Claremont and John Byrne showed how a terrifically intricate tale could be told in one title, and in two issues. They didn't need a ridiculously drawn-out crossover across multiple titles and innumerable issues.
The comicbook tale actually takes place about eight years later than what will be seen in next year's film: 1980. It centers around Senator Robert Kelly (seen in the first X-Men film) and his assassination by the Mystique-led Brotherhood (of Evil) Mutants in that year. Thirty-three years in the future (ironically, our current year of 2013), we witness a dystopic technologically-regressed United States in which mutants are either all dead or imprisoned. Humans with mutant potential are carefully watched and regulated. How did all this come about? Because, as a result of Kelly's murder by the Brotherhood, like a domino effect, one thing led to another against mutantkind, ultimately ending up with the robotic Sentinels taking over North America and ruling it -- for the "good" of human[ity].
Some of the few mutants left alive in 2013 include Magneto, Colossus, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Franklin Richards (son of the Fantastic Four's Reed and Sue Richards), and Wolverine. There's also Rachel Summers (daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey), a powerful psionic who has devised a plan: She will use her mental powers to place the mind of 2013 Kitty Pryde with that of her 1980 younger self. If successful, Pryde will convince the X-Men of her mission, prevent the assassination of Senator Kelly, and then -- hopefully -- the dystopian anti-mutant future will cease to exist.
Summers' efforts are successful. Kitty's minds trade places, and the adult version (now in 1980) convinces the X-Men of why she is there and what the team needs to do. The X-Men set out for Washington DC to thwart Mystique's plan, and the first issue's closing panels show the clear surprise of the Brotherhood at the X-Men being in DC. But they're no less determined to kill Senator Kelly!
The second issue is mainly an all-out donneybrook between to the two teams. Those familiar with the X-Men films but not so much the comics may recognize a few characters aside from the obvious: Pyro (played by Aaron Stanford in the films) has a flashy costume and is British, and the Blob (played by Kevin Durand in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) who's enormously obese and whose only weakness is Wolverine's claws. The X-Men are ultimately successful in preventing Kelly's murder; however, the visceral fear of mutants still surfaces as a result of the massive battle between the two mutant teams. The waning panels witnesses Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon in First Class) suggesting to Senator Kelly a ... "remedy" for controlling mutants: Sentinels. Thus, we're left pondering whether the X-Men and the future Kitty Pryde really were successful in preventing the dystopian future.
(Side note: Of course, using multiverse theory, the dystopian future of "Days" did continue to exist in Marvel lore, known as Earth-811. However, Rachel Summers later traveled to the past herself to join [our universe's] X-Men, and was still later pursued by the ultra-powerful Sentinel Nimrod.)
Some of the events in "Days" wouldn't make much sense (if that's even possible in comics) today based on subsequent events in Marvel books. For instance, in 2013, again, Franklin Richards was one of the captive mutants alongside the elderly Magneto. As we learned in the late 1990s, Franklin is one of the -- if not THE -- most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. He created the "pocket" universe known as "Heroes Reborn," and was then responsible for returning the various Marvel heroes from that universe to the Marvel Universe proper (Earth-616). Thus, instead of sending Kitty's mind back to 1980, why not concentrate on freeing Richards ... and then have him eradicate the Sentinels and "restore" reality the way it was meant to be? In addition, in the second part of "Days," a Sentinel blasts Wolverine, leaving only his adamantium skeleton remaining (see above). But as we saw during "Civil War," the villain Nitro zapped Wolvie the same way ... and then Logan completely regenerated himself (due to his mutant healing factor).
At any rate, back to this post's title: Will (an attempted assassination of) Richard Nixon be the impetus behind the film's version of "Days?" It makes sense, especially from a traditional Hollywood perspective. After all, Republicans are almost as bad as Nazis when it comes to tinseltown villains. It's easy enough to presume Nixon would have no qualms about ordering the manufacture of the robotic Sentinels, and then siccing them upon mutantkind.
What do you think?
Newsarama has another countdown, this time about the Top 10 Character Redesigns. Did they leave anyone out? I can think of a few. Here's their top ten:
10) Green Arrow
9) Daredevil (yellow to red suit)
8) Captain America (star-spangled to all black suit)
6) Storm (mohawk hairstyle)
5) Wonder Woman
4) Iron Man (gray to gold to red-and-gold armor)
3) Beast (change to all-blue fur)
2) Spider-Man (all-black "symbiote" suit)
1) Superman (see below)
What about [Marvel's] the Vision? The Android Avenger went from green and yellow (with that characteristic red face) to all faded yellow in the pages of John Byrne's West Coast Avengers:
When Byrne took the reins of West Coast Avengers, he had the Vision captured and then completely disassembled. This was because, years prior in the pages of The Avengers (circa #254), Vizh attempted to seize control of all the world's computer systems.
Various intelligence agencies, with Avenger Mockingbird's help, were responsible for this, and it fell to 'ol Hank Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man) to put Vizh back together again. He was successful, but Pym could not include Vision's emotions! To do this, he needed Simon Williams' (Wonder Man) brain patterns again (which were originally used as the basis for Vision's computer mind way back when). But ... Williams refused this time out (not having had a choice the first time). This highly irritated the Scarlet Witch (for whom Wonder Man had feelings, no doubt a reason for his refusal) who promptly dropped a cliff face on top of Simon! Vizh eventually got new brain patterns which rebooted his emotions, but his marriage to Wanda (Scarlet Witch) was already over. (And, ironically, Wanda ended up for a time romantically with Wonder Man.)
Regarding Iron Man, wouldn't a more radical redesign be when the armor's color scheme made a radical departure from the norm? After all, the change in #4 above wasn't really that "radical;" the golden armor that Stark had way back was actually his original armor with a gold paint job. And when the red and gold suit debuted, the all-gold suit had only been around for a whole six issues. Thus, I say that the debut of the Silver Centurion armor (Iron Man #200, below) is a bigger "radical" change ... especially since, too, that one of IM's nicknames is "Golden Avenger." (He didn't suddenly become the "Silver Avenger" in #200, either.)
Michael Douglas's throat cancer the result of ... giving oral sex. No kiddin'.
Considering who the recipient was (is) -- Catherine Zeta Jones -- I can think of a lot worse fates.
Latinos protest outside [PA Gov.] Corbett's Phila. office. Because, y'know, he doesn't have the "right amount" of Hispanics in his employ. Or something.
The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with To The Slaughter.
Full results are here.