Posts Tagged ‘Watchmen’
Are we seriously supposed to be talking about invading THE UKRAINE now? Can’t you horrible fantasists just play Risk or something?—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
“Breaking news tonight, another country exists. How should we invade it? Our team of deranged nihilists reports.” -American media—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
* By allying us with its protagonist, Gravity universalizes its image of exploited female labor, sells it back to its entire audience, men and women alike. Gravity shows a contemporary ideal of femininity still more sinister than the pinup. It presents woman as an intricate machine, strapped to dozens of wires, working her ass off with the goal of appearing weightless.
* “While the entire U.S. population has increased about one-third over the last 30 years, the Federal prison population has increased at a staggering rate of 800 percent, currently totaling nearly 216,000 inmates and currently operates at a 33 percent overcapacity. One-half of those Federal prison populations are drug offenses. While some of them are truly dangerous persons, as Deputy Attorney General Cole said, many of them are first-timers, and by possession only, wound up under Federal laws, the crack cocaine laws, in the Federal system”, she said.
* The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from: Wachowskis prepping new Matrix prequel trilogy.
BREAKING: Climate change has just invaded class struggle! This could be make-it or break-it time for President NightmareOfHistory!—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 01, 2014
* The law, in its majestic equality… Rejecting Man’s Bid For Refugee Status, Court Rules Climate Change Is Not ‘Persecution.’
* “I haven’t read any superhero comics since I finished with Watchmen,” [Moore] said in a discussion on his latest work, Fashion Beast. “I hate superheroes. I think they’re abominations. They don’t mean what they used to mean. They were originally in the hands of writers who would actively expand the imagination of their nine-to-13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently. These days, superhero comics think the audience is certainly not nine to 13, it’s nothing to do with them. It’s an audience largely of 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-year old men, usually men. Someone came up with the term graphic novel. These readers latched on to it; they were simply interested in a way that could validate their continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal. This is a significant rump of the superhero-addicted, mainstream-addicted audience. I don’t think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it’s a rather alarming sign if we’ve got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s.”
* Rortyblog: How to Waste a Crisis.
In what sense is this neoliberal? Some of this could be viewed as an attempt to create market citizens, and an ideological story can be told about how the right’s current program fully shifts risks to the individual and makes them an even more conscious participant in managing their own risks. But on its face, it looks a lot like class war, full stop. Mirowski never explains why the ideological project of market subjectivity serves any other purpose but class war, or why, even when neoliberal tenets about embracing precarity as liberation have taken hold broadly, the movement continues to fuel itself with reactionary ressentiment. If neoliberalism is not class war, why hasn’t it been content with winning?
The report’s emphasis on skills over content occurs even when it specifically addresses humanities research, or the production of knowledge, itself. For example, the most sustained definition “The Heart of the Matter” gives of humanities research is that research in the humanities “enables us to see the world from different points of view so that we may better understand ourselves” (38). This definition frames the purpose of humanities research as helping us to broaden our perspective and to understand ourselves better, not as making new discoveries and producing new knowledge about our past and our present. Such a definition, again, reduces the production of complex humanistic knowledge to the transmission of generally applicable skill-sets. This reaffirms one of the major criticisms leveled at the humanities today: that the subjects humanists study are impractical, useless, and unimportant. By defending the value of the humanities on the grounds that the most important thing humanities disciplines do is teach important skills, we concede the point that the specific knowledge humanistic disciplines produce is unimportant.
* The Pope Just Published One Of The Most Powerful Critiques Of Modern Capitalism That You Will Ever Read. Evangelii Gaudium. ”I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”
* More Vatican-City-style communism! 14 Genius Ideas The U.S. Should Seriously Consider Adopting.
* Over 176 Pounds? The morning after pill probably won’t work for you. The comments (which of course are terrible) reveal other instances of this kind of body normativity in medicine that I simply had no idea about.
These employees allege, and available AHA internal evidence supports their claims, that the organization distorts its film ratings, downplays or fails to publicly acknowledge harmful incidents and sometimes doesn’t seriously pursue investigations. The AHA staffers agreed to speak because they say they have lost hope in the potential for meaningful reform unless outside pressure is brought to bear. (They all have insisted on maintaining their anonymity for fear of retribution.)
* African-American girl faces expulsion over ‘natural hair.’ The school has elected not to get sued into oblivion at this time.
* Adam Roberts is annoyed that hypertrophic spoilerphobia won’t let him write a proper review of Maddaddam (though he basically does anyway).
* To be clear, shale drilling has created jobs, particularly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and cushioned some drilling-intensive areas in these states from the worst effects of the Great Recession and the weak recovery. The number of actual shale jobs created, however, is far below industry claims. Shale employment remains a small share of overall employment and has made little difference in job growth in any of the six states studied.
* The national conservative movement is waging a war… in SeaTac. That’s a weird sentence. Out of all the places to wage a political fight, why would conservatives and the infamous Koch Brothers choose a Pacific Northwest village of 26,000 that most Americans have probably never heard of?
* Destroy your university the California way: In California, where public higher education has experienced cut after cut, the choices are particularly difficult. For the spring semester of 2013, the California State University has told campus leaders they may not admit any Californian students to graduate programs. Given that tuition covers only a fraction of the costs of these students’ education, the university said it couldn’t afford them.
* At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team. If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.
15. Kummerspeck (German) Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
Living in an Orwellian corporate world where “mancams” serve as the eyes of a shadowy figure known only as Management, Leth (Waltz) works on a solution to the strange theorem while living as a virtual cloistered monk in his home–the shattered interior of a fire-damaged chapel. His isolation and work are interrupted now and then by surprise visits from Bainsley, a flamboyantly lusty love interest who tempts him with “tantric biotelemetric interfacing” (virtual sex) and Bob. Latter is the rebellious whiz-kid teenage son of Management who, with a combination of insult-comedy and an evolving true friendship, spurs on Qohen’s efforts at solving the theorem…Bob creates a virtual reality “inner-space” suit that will carry Qohen on an inward voyage, a close encounter with the hidden dimensions and truth of his own soul, wherein lie the answers both he and Management are seeking. The suit and supporting computer technology will perform an inventory of Qohen’s soul, either proving or disproving the Zero Theorem.
It’s a tale as old as time itself.
* The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.
* And our long national nightmare is (nearly) almost over: Keanu Reeves teases Bill & Ted 3.
* I’m traversing a landscape under endless gray cloud cover, the ground softened to the consistency of flesh by a long night of rain. I pass through areas that look like small cities, sprawls of gray buildings groped by the fingers of decay, but almost deserted – whatever people I see are glazed over, lurking in doorways and around corners. The rest of the journey is through light woods, among leafless trees… or over swamps, the endless texture of jaundiced reeds broken up by stagnant brown streams. Occasionally, I pass a hulking structure of brick and iron, falling apart from the inside, begging to be demolished so people can stop asking what it was ever for. Is this Castlevania? Or is it New Jersey? How 8- and 16-bit Games Taught Me the Power of Dread.
* Andrew Hickey reviews Before Watchmen.
Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis are both people who understand comics storytelling in a way that Didio can only dream of. And they realised, reading Watchmen, what any quarter-literate person would. They realised that no-one *actually* wanted a new story about Rorshach. (The fact that plenty of people now *do* want new stories about Rorshach tells us more about comics fans than we would really like to know)…
* …the campus administration did whatever they wanted, empowered the police to do whatever they wanted, and did so because they knew that no real oversight of their actions would occur, and they were right to think that.
* Roseanne’s not-at-all-a-stunt-why-would-you-say-that campaign for the White House kicks off.
As it happens, legalization of marijuana is the first issue in the political platform posted on Ms. Barr’s website. She said she has a prescription to use the drug for glaucoma in California and vowed to smoke a joint at a public press conference if she is victorious in the Golden State’s Green Party primary this week.“I don’t really smoke it, but I have a salve of it, you know, and if you rub it into your wrists, you don’t get high,” Ms. Barr said. “You’re not getting high but you feel release. I have salve and I have cookies.”
Other issues on Ms. Barr’s platform include ending the Federal Reserve, stopping “debt slavery” by “forgiving all school loans,” withdrawing military support for Israel and making war “obsolete.”
But will she cancel Terror Tuesdays?
* Nate Silver’s election model, which is always right except when it isn’t, puts Obama’s chances of reelection at 60%.
* UNC-Greensboro’s Own™ Natasha Trethewey is the new Poet Laureate.
* And Jason Jones with a super-helpful ProfHacker: Track Changes on an iPad with Office2.
* After he had obtained the signature page from his committee, Plaintiff inserted an additional, two-page section into his thesis without the knowledge or consent of his committee members. That section, entitled “Disacknowledgements,” began: “I would like to offer special Fuck You’s to the following degenerates for of being an ever-present hindrance during my graduate career….” It then identified the Dean and staff of the UCSB graduate school, the managers of Davidson Library, former California Governor Wilson, the Regents of the University of California, and “Science” as having been particularly obstructive to Plaintiff’s progress toward his graduate degree. Plaintiff later explained that he had not revealed the section to the members of his committee because he feared that they would not approve it. Today in Landmark First Amendment Cases.
* Alan Moore v. Before Watchmen: “If DC want to soil themselves in public and kill the reputations of a number of otherwise possibly halfway-decent writers and artists, then I’m certainly not going to stop them. And I shall take my fun and my pleasure however it comes.”
* I don’t even need to click a link labeled “Is this a picture of UFOs shooting laser beams at an airplane?” to know that yes, that’s absolutely what it is.
* A few weeks ago, Mitt Romney stuffed his foot in his mouth after proving to the common folk at a NASCAR race that he was a fan of the sport because he has “some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.” This week, he somehow crammed the other foot in there by repeating almost literally the exact same thing about the NFL.
* Tomorrow’s crimes today: man arrested for attempting to steal five tons of glacial ice in Chile.
* Major birth control pill recall. Bring on the lawsuits! Wow.
* Cary Nelson on fighting for the humanities.
We take it for granted that scientific knowledge must advance, that there is much we do not know and much that we will live out our lives without knowing. Knowledge of the physical universe beyond the solar system and the galaxy remains so limited that it is hard even to calculate its partiality. The nature of life elsewhere in the universe remains beyond our grasp, as does knowledge of the human body that would enable us to control diseases like cancer.
And yet we often—unreflectively, uncritically, and in a learned form of self-deception—assume that we largely know ourselves and our history. Through its institutions and the norms of social life, human culture immerses us in collective understanding that is often deceptive or false.
The task of the humanities is not only to show us the ways that artists and others have penetrated our illusions by creative acts both modest and grand but also to try to discover when human cultures as a whole have seen through a glass darkly.
* Abolish the dollar bill! For freedom!
* The headline reads, “India Factory Workers Revolt, Kill Company President.”
* Freddie deBoer on divorce rate hokum.
* And why do you have two nostrils instead of one giant hole in the middle of your face? io9 reports.
* Occupy Wall Street as Obamaism’s “rotten fruit”? John Hellemen speculates on 2012 as 1968.
– Don’t Mention Capitalism: Luntz said that his polling research found that “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”
– Empathize With The 99 Percent Protesters: Luntz instructed attendees to tell protesters that they “get it”: “First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ … ‘I get that you’re. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”
– Don’t Say Bonus: Luntz told Republicans to re-frame the concept of the bonus payment — which bailed-out Wall Street doles out to its employees during holidays — as “pay for performance” instead.
– Don’t Mention The Middle Class Because Americans Don’t Trust Republicans To Defend It: “They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers,” Luntz instructed the audience. “We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”
– Don’t Talk About Taxing The Rich: Luntz reminded Republicans that Americans actually do want to tax the rich, so he reccommended they instead say that the government “takes from the rich.”
* I don’t care who is drawing it; a Watchmen sequel is still the worst idea anyone has ever had.
* 131 members of Congress are now co-sponsoring a bill that will forbid members of Congress from insider training, leaving a mere 304 who support the laughably corrupt status quo.
* And speaking of the laughably corrupt status quo… Via my brother.
‘If We Discovered That Space Aliens Were Planning to Attack and We Needed a Massive Build-Up to Counter the Space Alien Threat, and Inflation and Budget Deficits Took Secondary Place to That, This Slump Would Be Over in 18 Months’
Krugman: Only Ozymandias can save us now.
* A federal judge has ruled DADT unconstitutional. I can’t believe, with big Democratic majorities in both houses and a Democratic president, it still took a judge to do this.
The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.
* And it’s too late for us, but here’s hoping Canada can keep Fox out. Related: How a Murdoch subsidiary may have bought him big trouble spying on celebrities in England.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but more regular (and, we might hope, somewhat more thoughtful) posting will resume soon.
* My hometown in the news! Randolph Man Indicted For Shooting His Pet Parrot.
* “Supergenes” in pill form will help you live to 100. Take it to the bank.
* To scientists, however, Henrietta Lacks almost immediately became known simply as HeLa (pronounced hee-lah), from the first two letters of her first and last names. Cells from Mrs. Lacks’s cancerous cervix, taken without her knowledge, were the first to grow in culture, becoming “immortal” and changing the face of modern medicine. There are, Ms. Skloot writes, “trillions more of her cells growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body.” Laid end to end, the world’s HeLa cells would today wrap around the earth three times. All about Henrietta Lacks. More here and here.
Quint: That’s what we love about you guys. Now, did you see WATCHMEN? Did you end up seeing it?
Terry Gilliam: Yeah, I thought it strange. I thought it was too reverential. That’s what I really thought it was.
Quint: Faithful to a fault, yeah. I would agree with that.
Terry Gilliam: And you look at it and he’s tried really… so much is stunning. It got trashed, but there are great sequences in there, but the overall effect is kind of turgid in a certain way.
* I’ve had to remove the Amazon ads from the sidebar due to Amazon Associates now being taxed in North Carolina. I don’t know yet if I’ll bother replacing them with anything—they weren’t bringing in that much money. Direct donations still of course accepted.
* After something of a slow start with too many hi-I’m-reading-because posts, Infinite Summer is finally starting to heat up with good posts today on IJ and the Kenyon Commencement at Infinite Summer and Infinite Zombies.
* Did the failed Watchmen adaptation hurt book sales? Occasional Fish has gathered some links suggesting it might have.
* Letterman couldn’t resist some jokes at Palin’s expense last night.
* New B-movie, coming this fall: They Saved Jackson’s Brain!
* Things you may not have known about the late Robert McNamara: he was the one who told the world about the hydrogen bomb buried in the swamp outside Goldsboro, NC. (Via Dave F.)
* The New Organizing Institute is having a mock election running superheroes for DC mayor. Of course I’ll be voting for Superman, but the Green Lantern‘s wholesale ripoff of the Obama aesthetic gives me pause.
* Also in superhero news: You’re a fun-loving, high-maintenance girl that grew up in a New Jersey suburb. You live close enough to New York City to want the clothes and the cosmopolitan lifestyle, but you’re not brave enough to move away from you over protective parents. What’s a girl to do? If you’re Zoe, you marry the first God of War that crash lands in town during a life or death struggle with his evil adversary! But, what happens when even an all-powerful God can’t exactly measure up to your elevated expectations? Jersey Gods.
The Watchmen companion DVD, Tales of the Black Freighter, is now out and available from Netflix. It’s a very mixed bag. The “Tales of the Black Freighter” short gets everything exactly wrong; animated straight from the comic, there’s no sense of the wonderful inter-cutting between narrative frames that justifies its presence in the original; in short, it’s another fetishistic recreation that entirely misses the point.
The “Under the Hood” short, in contrast, is probably the best piece of Watchmen I’ve seen, in that it comes closest to accomplishing what so many of us had hoped the movie might: a creative translation of the comic form to the film form, as opposed to just making the pictures move. Here, Hollis’s autobiography is replaced with an episode of “The Culpepper Minute,” a 1970s news magazine a la 60 Minutes, that was devoted to the book. (In fact, it’s a 1980s rerun of the 1970s episode, a nice bit of doubling.) The short isn’t perfect by any means—it’s a little corny, and there are, among other things, some truly anvilicious moments of ironic foreshadowing—but by and large it nails the format, making good use of the graphics novel’s huge scope in the process. (Lots of interesting characters who barely saw screen time in the film get their chance in “Under the Hood.”) This one is definitely worth the half-hour; it actually made me like the film a little more.