Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Really, Wednesday Already?

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* The 15 Worst Comics of the 2000s. The Mark Trail entry, while unexpected, is pretty amazing all by itself.

* Avatar and the American Man-Child: ‘Don’t you want to be an Indian little boy?'” My piece, as well as SEK’s, gets mentioned.

Where the movie goes wrong, then, is in making the sociopathic immaturity of a spoiled Western brat into the ideal form for the child-human that it wants anti-modernity to be. After all, while even your Rousseauvians understand the noble savage as a contradiction of modernity, as a cleansing bath washing away its discontents, the Na’vi only confirm Sully’s most childish presumptions of privilege: their world turns out to be nothing but toys to play with, nothing but one long summer camp fantasy of being the fastest, bestest, most awesomest ninja-Indian ever, and then a big giant womb to hide in when it all gets to be a bit much. There are no consequences there, nothing you can do to make mommy stop loving you (though Lord how he tries!). Like toys and parents to a three-year old, it is unthinkable that they say no or exist without you, and all they can ever ask is that you play with them.

* Polls prove the American public hates and loves the Afghan War as it hates and loves itself.

* Peace, tolerance, due process, oh my: Conservatives discover Star Trek is a Utopia.

* Tarantino is reportedly writing a prequel to Inglourious Basterds. I feel almost entirely certainly this is a terrible idea, and may in the end prove that those of us who liked the movie were fooling ourselves about its depth all along.

* Select Criterion Collection films are now streaming on Netflix.

* Andrew Breitbart goes deep inside the anti-American conspiracy that is the White House Christmas tree. Not a hoax!

* FiveThirtyEight.com’s Most Valuable Democrats of 2009.

* And, via Chutry, a nice encapsulation of what blogging is for.

Here’s my single favorite thing about blogging: being able to educate oneself in public. Going through this process—trying to move forward, stumbling, groping, occasionally finding—in full view of the world does not always stroke one’s ego. Each week you find yourself writing not about what you know but about what you perhaps hope to learn from the process of watching, reading, and struggling to think through and articulate.

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