Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear Sen. Obama.

Retro things are cool. The past repeats itself. You should update this ad.

Shotgun Blogging

This is why I love America.

(via Jezebel)

The Gruniad is aware of memes.

This was in the Guardian, a left-leaning British daily. On their website, at least. Can you imagine the Trib or WaPo putting lolbushes on their website?

The Politics of Superheroes

So, I just discovered the Tor blog, and came across this piece on the politics of superheroes, inspired by a Newsday article that's too dumb to link. The article takes a bunch of well-known superfolk and attempts to divine their political leanings. I've got some issues with their choices.

First, with the exception of Green Arrow, we never see superheroes commenting on political economy. So, that means that any guess based on economic policy is guesswork at best, with the maybe-exception of Tony Stark (multibillionaire arms merchant) as a Republican.

Second, I dare you, I double dare you to fix Superman's politics in any one direction. There's no possible way. I always thought of him as apolitical and limited only by his conscience. Batman's got a similar problem, although I'd peg Bruce Wayne as a limousine liberal in his political views.

Third, anyone who pegs the Hal Jordan-type Green Lantern as a Republican is an ass. He's a New Frontier Dem. My first priority when I get to write GL is finding a way to put the Kennedy quote about "pay any price, bear any burden... in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty" in Hal's mouth.*

I've read, in the weeks since the latest Batman movie came out, left-liberals saying that Batman is the embodiment of the statist, right-wing impulse, and that the Joker stands for human freedom in its more absolute form. I disagree. The terrible choices, and the responses to those choices, feel real. Gordon's desire to protect his family, both physically and emotionally, Dent's desire for revenge, Batman's willingness to take power into his own hands and Fox's revulsion at the idea are all issues that we grapple with today.

In the end, discussing the politics of any given superhero is pointless. Comics give us another way to discuss and debate what's happening in our world. I'd glad they exist.

*Incidentally, if you haven't read Kennedy's Inaugural Address, or his acceptance speech before the NY Liberal Party, please do.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In Memoriam

Wha be tha blake prevy lawe
That bene wantoun too alle tha feres?
Ya damne righte!

Wha be tha carl tha riske is hals wolt
Fro is allye leve?
Konne ye?

Wha be tha carl wha ne wolden flee
Whan peril bene all aboughte?

Alle clepe tha carl ane badde mooder-
Speken of Shaft bene I.

He be a man konne unnethes
Namo save is mayde konnes im.
Good night, Sweet Prince.

(Poem from A Poet's Tale)

Character Actors I Like

Paul Schulze. He was the priest in the Sopranos, the creepy FBI agent in Journeyman, and the Hobo in Mad Men. Always a pleasure to watch.

Hell in a Handbasket

I swear to all the good gods, this was actually a headline I saw today "Rock Star Cats: Do you like cats? So do your favorite pop stars. Click here for pics of the cutest felines."

Swear to gods. Really. There are pictures of cats and arch, stupid quotes about how "When Ted Nugget isn't shooting effigies of dirty liberals on stage, he relaxes with Rosemary and Milo while sipping on vintage Cava and watching the Lifetime Network." Every damn caption is designed to make the reader go "hardy-har-har."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

From the indefatigable wikipedia.

In 2008, MTV announced that they will launch a new series called Exiled. A number of parents of participants on My Super Sweet 16 will banish their teens to a remote dangerous countries in order to see if their offspring will survive the primitive conditions [1]. The big twist occurs when the parents show their apathetic attitudes about their child's wellbeing.

Yes, please.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

All I wanted was to sing the saddest song #3

I've never acknowledged the AV Club's list of sad songs as the inspiration for this. I really should have. I don't agree with all of the choices, but I spent the night I read it listening to my selections and choking up. In the spirit of that, this is an unthemed list.

  1. Billy Bragg - Between the Wars. There's a core of hope in this song, but its deep there. Mostly, its a resigned hymn, with flashes of defiance. Even the anthem-y part at the end "Call out a craftsman/ bring me a draftsman/build me a path..." ends in the wary plea of "sweet moderation/heart of this nation/ desert us not/ we are between the wars." The spare guitar and Bragg's nasal Essex voice add to the melancholy.
  2. Tom Smith - A Boy and His Frog. I think it was Randy Milholland from Something Positive who said that if you don't tear up when you hear this, you don't have a soul. It's so sad, that the video on youtube is flagged as "inappropriate to minors.
  3. Elliot Smith - Miss Misery. Saying that Elliot Smith writes the occasional sad song is like saying that you'd prefer not to be punched in the sack. Regardless, Miss Misery is the song that comes unbidden into one's head when one can't get out of bed in the morning, or can't put the vodka back in the freezer at night.
  4. Ben Folds Five - Cigarette. That sandpaper feeling behind his eyes. That's what I always think of when I hear this song. Fred Jones is so tired, and so sad, and so worried. It's a perfect vignette.
  5. Wilco - I am trying to break your heart. This is another song tied to a specific memory - in this case, lying on the bottom bunk, staring at the white particle board above, thinking about how awesome the line "I want to hold you in the bible-black pre-dawn" is, trying not to think about what was keeping me awake. The song slowly unravels as it nears its end, it's quite good.

Liveblogging MTV at night.

So, I'm on hour 600 of Next, and this time, it's gay next. They've got a burly, ex-navy Filipino on, and his second date was a mildly gender-queer dater, dressed up as a sailor, with an origami belt, long hair, and an obsession with Paris Hilton. He walks out, and the sailor just goes, "Why the hell not?"

It was pretty fun. Kinda sad he got nexted.

I wish they did more interesting Next. This is the first time I've seen anyone but fey, kinny boys on gay Next. On straight next, all the girls look like Realdolls - vacant and overly plastic - and the guys look like all the douchebags you hope get arrested for DUI. I'd like them to mix it up. Match up "hobbies." A foot fetishist and a bus full of girls with pretty feet, a chubby chaser and a bus full of bears, some furries, I don't know - but something more interesting than a bus full of subbie assholes.

And now, random liveblog thoughts.
  • There is no need for student living with a 32 seat movie theater.
  • LL Cool J is accepting of the fact that he's growing old.
  • Someone smarter than me needs to do some cultural analysis on Next and gender roles.
  • Next writers are being punished for sins to terrible to contemplAmate. I'm guessing something from the 7th or 8th Circle.
  • Fuckers just made a frat joke.
  • A distressing number of peoples' facts on the show are about poop.
  • It's impossible to look like a real grown-up when eating a cupcake, which is why the proliferation of cupcake bakeries make me sad.
  • "What are you gonna do if you get instantly nexted?" "Probably go get a boob job."
  • To whom is MTV advertising?
  • I wish I could make noises like Charlie Brooker.
  • I wish I was Charlie Brooker.
  • America Ferrera is really pretty.
  • "For never seeing another ringtone commercial, text OH GOD OH GOD MAKE IT STOP to 22879"
  • The basic concept of Next is "Do what I want, bend to my will, be perfect." Probably not healthy.
  • I think it was Bill Clinton who said "there is nothing wrong in America that can't be fixed by what's right in America." While the Big Dog was a bit centrist for me, and both he and the country would have been well served if he'd soldered his zipper shut (or showed an ounce of self-control), I appreciate the sentiment. Watching MTV, I'm not sure he's right.
  • I want to be on Next - Boring people edition. I will accomplish this by being on "Made: I want to be on Next." I will make MTV my plaything!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Take off your hat.

Dear Don Draper, I'm allergic to alcohol. How can I get through the day? Also, how'd you like to shake things up with a redhead?

Two packs of Luckys and the occasional nap. On second thought, you might be best served by a bullet.

Also, I’ve shaken things up with a redhead. I learned my lesson.

(Via Jezebel, of all places)