Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Morocco

Some Sunday Links

leave a comment »

* David Simon: “The Attorney-General’s kind remarks are noted and appreciated. I’ve spoken to Ed Burns and we are prepared to go to work on season six of The Wire if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanising drug prohibition.” (also via)

20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know.

* The Monochromatic City of Chefchaoen, Morocco. Via Cynical-C.

* Naked Capitalism takes a stand against selling out.

The “you need to have a seat at the table” crowd misses how best to steer a path in complex systems. As John Kay points out in his new book Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly, one does better by sticking with principles, since it is beyond our capabilities to map a straight path. He compares the performance of companies within a number of different industries who set out to maximize profits against those that set higher and more complex objectives. The ones that had the richer, more aspirational aims did better in financial terms. Apple is a classic example.

* The New York Times reviews China Miéville’s Embassytown. This is already on my Kindle, and next up after I finish Kraken.

* And John Seaver explains the coming DC reboot.

What with all that, even the best creative teams eventually pile up a gradual accumulation of mistakes. Things that seemed like a good idea at the time now seem like the thing that cost you about twenty percent of your reading audience, and not all of the changes are as easy to reverse as a costume change. You can do stories that undo other stories to a limited extent, but eventually audiences get sick of contrived deals with the devil and hokey memory erasures and you wind up stuck in a corner, telling stories about a teenage version of your old character who’s from a parallel universe created when a time-traveling supervillain set a trap for his enemies using pocket-dimensional copies of a superhero who’s no longer in continuity thanks to…

You can start to see why the idea of sweeping it all under the rug and starting over from the point when your characters still made sense sounds like a good idea, right? Reboots cut away, at least in theory, all of the detritus that piled up over the years, all the Spider-Mobiles and deaths of Doctor Octopus and Grim Hunters and teen Iron Men and missing hands and Jewel Kryptonites, and leave the character iconic and sensible again. To a desperate and semi-sober editor, it’s got to start looking like a pretty attractive idea. Even if it doesn’t work, it’s not like the amazing adventures of the one-handed, dead, wifeless, childless, kingdomless Aquaman is going to sell anyway.