Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Action Philosophers

Sunday Links

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* I left for Thanksgiving travel in a rush and wasn’t able to post a link to my traditional Thanksgiving post.

* What happens to turkeys that are pardoned?

“The birds are then, in proverbial fashion, said to live happily ever after. In reality, however, they are usually killed within a year and stand-in turkeys are supplied. This goes on year after year. The chosen birds are killed because they have been engineered and packed with hormones to the point that they are unfit for any other purpose than their own slaughter and consumption. They are fast-forward turkeys. Presidential turkey caretakers have explained that most succumb rather quickly to joint disease—their frail joints simply cannot bear the weight of their artificially enhanced bodies. The sturdiest survivors may live a little more than a year. But the birds are always finally put out of their growing misery. Then they are buried nearby in a presidential turkey cemetery—the ritualistic significance of which remains to be explored. (May the archaeologists of the future excavate it!)”

The reason that these turkeys are so ill suited for their lives of freedom is that they are supplied by the National Turkey Federation. They are products of industrial farms, bred to grow fat quick rather than live long. Much could be said about the fact that corporate lobby’s interests trumps even the symbolism of the ceremony, making even the pardon itself a lie within a lie.

To pardon, after all, is to forgive. And, if we’re talking about a turkey, it becomes difficult to discern what criminal or immoral behavior on the bird’s part may be said to establish the necessary preconditions for its forgiveness.

What we have here is a situation where a company offered a wage in the marketplace and couldn’t get any workers to accept it. Consequently, it went out of business.

* David Mitchell on how they filmed his unfilmmable novel.

* What Would Combat in Space Be Like?

* All about Münchausen syndrome.

Farmers Told To Buy Insurance If They Don’t Want To Get Sued By Monsanto.

If Walmart were a country, its GDP (US$443.9bn) would be greater than that of South Africa’s ($422bn). Visa would be bigger than Zimbabwe, Wells Fargo dwarfs Angola, and eBay, Amazon, Costco, Proctor & Gamble would swamp Madagascar, Kenya, Sudan and Libya respectively.

* A Roundtable Discussion featuring Jacqueline Dutton, Daniel Heath Justice, Kim Stanley Robinson and Lorenzo Veracini.

I am very reluctant to speak of “climate change adaptation” in this connection, because I feel that that phrase is a seized term, like “sustainable development,” and both are coded ways of saying “business as usual” or “capitalism must endure no matter the damages.” Because of that I think we should still be insisting on “climate change mitigation” as the appropriate task for our time. Ultimately, however, the entire biosphere will be adapting to the new physical conditions we are creating by our impacts, and we are going to have to get involved with that adaptation to make the best of it, meaning keeping the number of extinctions to a minimum, and trying to steer the biosphere toward best outcomes for all the species on the planet. This is necessary, because all the species together form one single supra-organism, and the health of all together determines the health of any individual species, including ourselves. Because of that reality, inhabiting the Earth successfully in the centuries to come will necessarily be a utopian project. It’s become a case of utopia or catastrophe.

* Year-to-date Temperature Anomalies for Contiguous US.

* Outstanding achievements in bullshitting: John Podhoretz.

Chevy Chase Is Leaving Community, Effective Immediately. Bring back Dan Harmon? It’s not too late!

Alicia Keys Sings the Gummi Bears Theme Song.

* Action Philosophers has a digital exclusive issue 13 at Comixology.

* And finally: Zissou vs. the whale.

‘The Only Moral Political System Is Laissez-Faire Capitalism’

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In honor of Paul Ryan’s ascendency, Comixology is giving away Action Philosophers: Ayn Rand! for free.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

In Other Comics News (Updated)

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In other comics news, the creators of the excellent (and gone-too-soon) series Action Philosophers have a new series out this week, Comic Book Comics. There’s an interview with the writers here, with a teaser for what comes next:

PWCW: Any ideas on what might come after CBC for the two of you?

FVL: Two words: action presidents. And it’s exactly what it sounds like.

I also read the Fletcher Hanks anthology I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets this weekend after being intrigued by a negative review on some blog or another a few weeks ago. (Can’t remember where, sadly.) (UPDATE: Paul Karasik showed up in the comments wishing he could see the negative review, which prompted me to look a little harder and finally dig it up.)

I really liked it. Hanks’s work has that recognizable Silver Age feel, but with a bleakly nihilistic edge that I think is really interesting; these are fables much more than they are comics, and the poetic justice violence facing the villains grows more and more intense as the book goes on. A coda by the editor, Paul Karasik, reveals through an interview with the artist’s son what most readers of the book are likely to see lurking just beneath the surface of these stories: the unhappy middle and lonely end to the life of Fletcher Hanks.

I remember that the negative blog review took issue with the Vonnegut blurb on the back, but I’ve got to side with Kurt on this one: “The recovery from oblivion of the these treasures is in itself a major work of art.”

(UPDATE: Having found the review in question, I can be more specific about the problems Hooded Utilitarian raises. But I don’t need to be, because Karasik gets there first and better:

The character, Paul Karasik, from my story, “Whatever Happened to Fletcher Hanks” is a myopic fanboy. He waxes on gleefully about the refined qualities of the Hanks aesthetic while getting a boner contemplating the potential treasures he hopes to score at the house of the son of his idol.

The point was that he was blind to the actual content of the work.

I purposefully left it up to the reader to make the connection between Karasik’s delusions (and limited appreciation of Hanks) and the true nature of Hanks’ fascistic tendencies as the revelations about Hanks’ character are revealed.

The entire idea of the Afterword was that these revelations would resonate with an intelligent reader (who had just finished reading 15 of Hanks’ stories) in such a way that they would come to their own, clear and hopefully disturbing response to the “actual content of his work”

To think that most readers, including Crumb, Panter, and most of all, Vonnegut (who, by the way, if you check the quote, was referring to the unearthing of these treasures) do not appreciate the barely hidden misanthropy bubbling under the surface of these stories is to sell these guys short.

What he said.)

Written by gerrycanavan

March 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Waking Up on Christmas Morning Hours Before the Winter Sun’s Ignited (Party Like It’s 1999)

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One of the cooler presents I got this morning was a solar-powered cell phone and iPod charger from Jaimee’s parents. I haven’t used it yet, and I don’t have any clue what the carbon footprint of a device like this actually is, but I think it’s cool as hell all the same. I also got a copy of the first two Action Philosophers trade paperbacks to match my well-worn Action Philosophers T-shirt—also definitely cool as hell. Most notably, however, Jaimee bought me some jeans, a deliberatively provocative action calculated to neutralize one of my more irrational stupid quirks and taboos, the fact that I haven’t worn a pair of jeans in almost nine years.

Am I ready? You tell me.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 25, 2007 at 6:17 pm

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