Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Grant Morrison

Black Friday Links

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* Pepper spray and Tasers on Black Friday. Stay safe shoppers.

* Because the court didn’t explicitly instruct federal prosecutors that they were required to follow the law, they didn’t have to follow the law. Really, that’s what this says.

Criminal contempt charges against the prosecutors were not called for, Schuelke found, because Sullivan never explicitly demanded, in a court order, that the government comply with their legal and ethical obligations concerning the revelation of exculpatory evidence to those defending the Republican senator from Alaska in the political corruption case.

“Because the court accepted the prosecutors’ repeated assertions that they were complying with their obligations and proceeding in good faith, the court did not issue a clear and unequivocal order directing the attorneys to follow the law,” Sullivan wrote, explaining his rationale for not explicitly ordering the government to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense.

That’s insane. Via MeFi.

* Also at MeFi: The Karate Kid Rehearsal Movie.

* Area Man Has Far Greater Knowledge Of Marvel Universe Than Own Family Tree.

* Grant Morrison Bingo.

* The New Yorker had an interesting profile on Bitcoin recently. You can’t read that one unless you’re a subscriper, but here’s Wired’s.

* And the road to 270: How Obama can win.

Looking at this in this in terms of states, it means Democrats might be able to offset the loss of a state like Ohio that’s more dependent on the white working class vote by winning big out West, where the growing Hispanic population plays in their favor. Colorado looks to be a crucial player once again and Democrats are eyeing Arizona, which went for native son John McCain in 2008, as a potential pickup thanks to a backlash over its anti-immigration crackdown. And in Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, the Obama campaign thinks a less significant but growing Hispanic population will give them a boost as well. But even in the Rust Belt, Democrats get a demographic bump: the CAP study shows a higher concentration of college educated whites in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin versus 2008. If Obama can keep these voters from abandoning him, he can survive some erosion elsewhere.

Tuesday!

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Monday Night Infinite Jest (and More)

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* The MLK Memorial opened today on the Washington Mall. Pretty visually stunning.

* zunguzungu has your Libya links.

* The headline reads, “The Scramble for Access to Libya’s Oil Wealth Begins.”

* Kaufman, who has a lifelong passion for American folk music, has just written a biography of Guthrie. And, much more unusually for an academic, he is singing his way across the US to promote it. He is performing Guthrie’s songs, which he mixes with short lectures and projected images in what Kaufman calls a “live musical documentary.”

* Grant Morrison: The Rolling Stone interview. More here. Via Bleeding Cool.

* The New Yorker profiles Clarence Thomas. Via just about everybody.

* Also via literally everybody: The Decembrists’ new Infinite-Jest-themed music video.

* Don’t miss Brad DeLong’s brief history of the Obama administration. Via Digby.

* 2010: Detroit apocalypse porn. 2011: Detroit is the new Brooklyn.

* Inside the mind behind Feminist Hulk. If you’d bet the account was owned by a graduate student in English literature, pick up your money at the front desk.

* Inside the Tea Party: a UNC professor has polled Tea Party supporters to determine that the Tea Party’s core values are “authoritarianism, fear of change, libertarianism and nativism.” I can’t imagine anyone anywhere will find this study remotely controversial.

* Kevin Drum asks: Can we fix the economy? Sign me up for Krugman’s Lament (first comment); we can fix this, we just won’t.

* Wikileaks implodes.

* And a look inside how Scrabble warps your brain.

Competitive Scrabble players’ visual word recognition behavior differed significantly from non-experts’ for letter-prompted verbal fluency (coming up with words beginning with a specific letter) and anagramming accuracy, two Scrabble-specific skills. Competitive players were faster to judge whether or not a word was real. They also judged the validity of vertical words faster than non-experts and were quicker at picking up abstract words than non-competitive players. These findings indicate that Scrabble players are less reliant on the meaning of words to judge whether or not they are real, and more flexible at word recognition using orthographic information.

Monday Links

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* From my lips to Moody’s ears: we need to eliminate the debt ceiling.

“We would reduce our assessment of event risk if the government changed its framework for managing government debt to lessen or eliminate that uncertainty,” Moody’s analyst Steven Hess wrote in the report, first reported by Reuters.

The congressional role in setting a limit on debt, creates “periodic uncertainty” over the government’s ability to meet its obligations, Moody’s said.

* The liquidation of Borders makes me feel like a old-man-in-training. I feel like I’ll still be talking about Borders in 30 years the way my father still talks about Two Guys.

* The evidence has been mounting for years that early humans and Neanderthals interbred, but now it’s pretty much a certainty. Part of the X chromosome found in people from outside Africa originally comes from our Neanderthal cousins. Look for this discovery to combine with stories like this and this to fuel racist pseudoscience for decades to come.

* Game of the night: Untris.

* I love Grant Morrison, but so far his plans for the Superman relaunch leave me a bit cold.

Climate-Denying Oklahoma Governor Tells Residents To Pray For Rain.

* And please enjoy this Doctor Who tube map. I did.

The Social Safety Net Is for Closers (and More Links from the Weekend)

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* Salman Rushdie is to make a sci-fi television series in the belief that quality TV drama has taken over from film and the novel as the best way of widely communicating ideas and stories. Are you listening, English department hiring committees? Look for my dossier this fall. (Thanks, Erica!)

For the first time in years, the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA), the largest union representing coal miners, has found common cause withenvironmental and community advocates who are seeking to end mountaintop-removal coal mining.

* Ten Charts That Prove the U.S. Is a Low-Tax Country.

* In a Pure Coincidence, Gaddafi Impeded U.S. Oil Interests before the War.

* Democratic Leaders Perfectly Coordinate Message on Anthony Weiner, Can’t Do It For Anything That Actually Matters. I happen to agree that Weiner should probably resign—if only to finally end the story—but why aren’t Democratic leaders sending synchronized press releases on jobs or Medicare?

* MetaFilter covers the weird, sad decline of David Mamet. We’ll always have Glengarry Glen Ross

* And the first bit of remotely interesting news from the D.C. relaunch: Grant Morrison will be writing Action Comics. Now that’s something I might actually read.

More

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More!

* The World Future Council eyes the possibility of punishing crimes against the future, but news on climate change and ocean acidification suggests we should be more concerned about crimes against the present.

* Here comes your Grant Morrison documentary.

* Early Ditko.

* How to bring the party.

* Are graduate creative writing programs worth it? Only if they’re free, and frankly maybe not even then. This, however, is quite true:

A friend and classmate of mine recently said that our program was a place where people who ordinarily never would have met in their entire lives could become best friends.

It’s the best reason to do it. Via Jezebel via @sposnik.

* Alain de Botton says “it’s time for an ambitious new literature of the office.”

* And an art historian thinks Duchamp’s readymades weren’t really readymades.

This is Ms. Shearer’s case against the readymades so far.

Duchamp’s readymade glass ampoule, which he named ”50 cc of Paris Air,” is larger than any that would have been readily available to pharmacists. (And she has a tape of a man from Corning Glass saying so.)

”Beautiful Breath,” the readymade perfume bottle with Man Ray’s photograph of Duchamp on it (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent) is green, she says; the real bottles of ”Un Air Embaume,” from Rigaud, are peach-colored (like the empty but still-fragrant one that Ms. Shearer bought for $650).

The readymade snow shovel, which now exists only in photographs and replicas, ”would hurt your hand” if you tried to use it, Ms. Shearer says, because it has a square shaft. And it doesn’t have the normal reinforcements to keep it from breaking. (She has hired people to make her a snow shovel like Duchamp’s and use it until it breaks.)

There is more: the bird cage is too squat for a real bird, the iron hooks in the photograph of the coat rack appear to bend in an impossible position, the French window opens the wrong way, the bottle rack has an asymmetrical arrangement of hooks and the urinal is too curvaceous to have come from the Mott Iron Works, where Duchamp said he bought it.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

Must Be Tuesday

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A little busy today, but here are a few links I’ve saved up.

* Watchmen link of the day: The Fate of Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis. Via the comments at the Candleblog review.

* Grant Morrison on the superhero genre.

I’m not even sure if there is a superhero genre or if the idea of the superhero is a special chilli pepper-like ingredient designed to energize other genres. The costumed superhero has survived since 1938, constantly shifting in tone from decade to decade to reflect the fears and the needs of the audience. The current mainstream popularity of the superhero has, I think, a lot to do with the fact that the Terror-stricken, environmentally-handicapped, overpopulated, paedophile-haunted world that’s being peddled by our news media is crying out for utopian role models and for any hopeful images of humankind’s future potential!

* Don’t Look Back—a flash game based on the Orpheus myth.

* Top 10 myths about sustainability.

* Bad news for solipsists: the universe exists independently of our observation. Via Kottke.

* Also from Kottke: famous directors take on famous comedy bits. A little amateurish, but it made me smile.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Dollhouse, Duke, Watchmen, Time

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Friday morning links.

* Is Dollhouse already canceled? Fox is advertising that Prison Break returns to Fridays on 4/17.

* Mike Krzyzewski gets a tough evaluation on ratemyprofessor.com.

* Alternate-universe Watchmens. Only the Woody Allen hypothesis really sings.

* And this xkcd is quieter than the ones that usually get ricocheted across the Internet, but damn if it didn’t make me laugh.

Correlation

* And is time really the fire in which we burn? Consider the thermal time hypothesis. More at MetaFilter.

According to Connes and Rovelli, the same applies to the universe at large. There are many more constituents to keep track of: not only do we have particles of matter to deal with, we also have space itself and therefore gravity. When we average over this vast microscopic arrangement, the macroscopic feature that emerges is not temperature, but time. “It is not reality that has a time flow, it is our very approximate knowledge of reality that has a time flow,” says Rovelli. “Time is the effect of our ignorance.”

I think Rovelli just wrote Alan Moore’s next three graphic novels. Grant Morrison’s, too.

Links

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Seriously, I have pink eye. That’s just absurd. Here are some links.

* Utopia is now: curing cancer by virus.

* Dystopia is now: New York is talking about taxing Internet porn. What’s 4% of free?

* How the Crash will reshape America.

* Debt: The First Five Thousand Years. Via American Stranger.

* Salute to British comic creators.

* Is Final Crisis “the death knell of the ‘mad ideas’ school of comics writing”?

* Nate Silver tries to statisticize the Oscars.

* Goodbye, Dubai.

* And Candleblog directs us to the official Trilogy Meter. Pretty good, but they got Back to the Future 2 wrong; it’s not only better than the original, it’s the greatest cinematic achievement of all time.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

How to Save ‘Superman’

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Mark Millar’s take on a Superman reboot could be Kal-El at his most poignant, if DC would ever sign off on such a dark take on the character.

I want to start on Krypton, a thousand years ago, and end with Superman alone on Planet Earth, the last being left on the planet, as the yellow sun turns red and starts to supernova, and he loses his powers.

Great idea, and amazingly it’s one I don’t think we’ve ever seen before. The perfect source material is already out there and begging to be adapted—just do Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman—but if they’re foolish enough to pass on that they could do a lot worse than Millar’s take. (Also via io9.)

In other Superman news, Bryan Singer, having already destroyed the franchise once, appears to be opting out of destroying it a second time.

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December 6, 2008 at 7:13 pm

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Batman: R.I.P.

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I haven’t been reading Morrison’s Batman: R.I.P., but Easily Distracted has, and has one of the few reads of the series that actually makes sense.

(Previously.)

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December 6, 2008 at 4:26 am

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Up in the Sky

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All Star Superman in Eleven Panels.

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September 7, 2008 at 4:40 pm

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Batman, Superman of Planet X

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This pair of scans_daily posts are by themselves a nearly complete lesson in just what superhero comics have become in the so-called Dark Age—incredibly dark, yes, but also deeply layered and remarkably postmodern. Grant Morrison’s current story on the Batbooks requires at least a passing familiarity with the entire sixty-nine-year history of the franchise to make much sense, including long-abandoned plot points like the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and Bat-Mite and a rather advanced understanding of meta-concepts like continuity and canonicity.

These features, to varying degrees, dominate the major creative output of both DC and Marvel, and have for at least a decade, though Grant Morrison’s comics are certainly near the top of the curve.

Personally I think this sort of labyrinthine narrative complexity is always unequivocably wonderful, but opinions on this point definitely vary.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 7, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Superfolks

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I stumbled across a review of Robert Mayer’s 1977 postmodern superhero novel Superfolks somewhere on the Internet a few months ago, and I was intrigued enough to buy the novel secondhand from Amazon and read it one night when I should have been doing more productive work. It’s a fun, quick read, and it isn’t at all hard to see why Grant Morrison has said Alan Moore got all his ideas from Mayer, especially Miracleman.

I bring all this up because NPR’s got a nice excerpt:

There were no more heroes.

Kennedy was dead, shot by an assassin in Dallas.

Batman and Robin were dead, killed when the Batmobile slammed into a bus carrying black children to school in the suburbs.

Superman was missing, and presumed dead, after a Kryptonite meteor fell on Metropolis.

The Marvel family was dead; struck down by lightning.

The Lone Ranger was dead; found with an arrow in his back after Tonto returned from a Red Power conference at Wounded Knee.

Mary Mantra was dead; cut to pieces by an Amtrak locomotive when Dr. Spock tied her to the tracks and she couldn’t remove her gag.

Captain Mantra was in a sanitarium near Edgeville; said to be a helpless wretch ever since seeing his twin sister cut to shreds.

Only Wonder Woman was still in the public eye. And she had forsworn forever the use of her superpowers. Using her real name, Diana Prince, she was a leading spokesperson for women’s liberation, an associate editor of Ms. magazine, a frequent guest on late-night talk shows. Her message was that the strength of Wonder Woman resides in all women and they must learn to use it. Battling to liberate womankind, she said, was more important than catching petty crooks. She sounded at times like a sinner repentant.

Even Snoopy had bought it; shot down by the Red Baron; missing in action over France…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 5, 2008 at 3:46 am

Superhero News!

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Superhero news!

* Smokers of the Marvel Universe.

* Dial B for Blog uses the recent gratuitous [SPOILER] of the Martian Manhunter in Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis #1 as the launching point for a passionate rant about the current editorial direction of DC Comics.

Infinite Crisis was a bad story, but at least it was a story. Final Crisis is a marketing plan. There’s the money quote, reader: “Final Crisis is a marketing plan.”

In the view of Robby Reed, creator of this web site and author of this posting, “FINAL CRISIS” is VERY well-named, because for me it is a death-knell for DC. They have so little regard for either their own characters or those who buy the comics it is horrifying. I actually hope they go out of business, if they keep this up.

At any rate, before purchasing any new DC title in the future, I will inspect each page for evidence of the continuing pornographic destruction of my beloved childhood characters. If I find any, the book goes back on the shelf. Since EVERY book they publish is now like this, that means no more new DC comics for Robby. I will not miss them!

Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2008 at 2:07 am