Saturday, February 28, 2009
"The superheroes I always found hard to keep track of were the ones who kept relaunching themselves. I mean, Batman’s been Batman for 70 years and Spider-Man’s been Spider-Man for the best part of 50. But I’m thinking of chaps like Ant-Man. Very small, as one might expect. Then he became Giant-Man. Then he became Yellowjacket (his girlfriend was the Wasp). Then he became Goliath. I’ve lost track of him since then. But, thanks to my usual 20-second exhaustive research, I see he was relaunched only a month ago, this time as the Wasp. Hang on, I thought the Wasp was his chick? Has he had a sex-change? Hey, why not? For a while he was both Giant-Man and Yellowjacket, playing a kind of schizoid double-hero with each superpower emphasizing a different side of his identity."
He continues the comic theme throughout, further proving himself as one of my all time favorites.
But just for his edification, the original Wasp, Ant-Man's off-again on-again love interest, was killed in the recent climactic battle with the invading Skrull armies. Thus Ant-Man's new codename is a tribute of sorts to her. Also there's some guilt involved, because once, years ago, he flipped out and beat her up a little...not in a superhero battle way, but a domestic abuse Buffalo beheading kind of way. Then later he made a female cyborg (comes with boobs, don't know about south of the border) based on her, with her personality, named Jocasta, with whom he's currently engaged in some kind of master/slave, robot/human relationship. It's a bit weird.
Still, it's a good lead-in for some solid Rule 5 blogging, Superhero edition, starting with the Wasp and then getting better. Not too orthodox, but I'll try and get to Christina Hendricks and nonfictional hotties later.
You're reloading Robert Stacy McCain every few hours, aren't you? Conservatives Assemble!
For live-blogging and unique insights/schmoozefests check out Robert Stacy McCain, as usual. That was a weak rule 2 but get ready for rule 5 sunday, cause i'm gonna come up with something good (unless you do first, in which case...email me your idea.)
Friday, February 27, 2009
Even if it turns out to be lame (though it's undoubtedly better than R.I.P and Final Crisis) it just brings us that much closer to Bruce's return. Now to see if his boys make him proud, or he has to do some Azrael-like punishment upon his resurrection.
Latest little taste from Tony Daniel:
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
In it, she quotes former UN ambassador to Saudi Arabi, and Obama's likely appointee to the directorship of the National Intelligence Council, Chas Freeman who believes Arab and Islamic hostility to America is based on US support for Israel:
"Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans. This has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs."
Obama continues to illustrate his foreign policy beliefs by the appointments he makes. If Netanyahu does not manage to build public support for his government, Obama will have little opposition in systematically giving Israel to the Arab world to destroy as they see fit.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
As the newest installment of Doctor Who is filming in Dubai (no Jews allowed), BBC sources have revealed they believe Robert Mugabe to be in possession of some the oldest and most valuable episodes, which have been missing for decades.
Apparently the episodes were purchased when Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, and have yet to be seen since the 70s (much like white farmers). Fears of red tape and British hatred leave fans and experts pessimistic about recovering the seminal episodes, which could include the first regeneration ever (from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton, 1966).
Were one to use Mugabe's argument banning homosexuality against him, one would say that dogs and pigs do not watch science fiction, so why must Zimbabweans?
The alternative is to hop in the TARDIS and travel back to BBC headquarters in the late '60s when some complete and utter tosser destroyed the episodes to make room in their film library for new programmes[sic], and give him a good backhander upside the head.
Or else the UK could wage a (Time)War, drop a few bombs on Bobby-Gabe, and hope for the best. I think I could get behind that, and now that bleeding-heart British liberals have been hit so close to home (they all love the Doctor), I'm probably not the only one.
"There has never been a referendum, so no one knows numbers, but zeitgeist trumps numbers anyway. It isn't silent majorities that drive things, but vocal minorities. Don't count heads; count decibels."
QUESTION: Do you have reaction to the result of the referendum, the fact that Chavez has won and now he can stay in power almost indefinitely?
MR. DUGUID: Well, it’s my understanding that the referendum took place in a fully democratic process, that there were – although there were some troubling reports of intimidation of opponents, for the most part, this was a process that was fully consistent with democratic practice. However, democratic practice also requires that the government govern well and govern in the interest of all of the people of the diverse interests that are present in Venezuela.
QUESTION: But what about the result of the --
MR. DUGUID: It was a matter for the Venezuelan people. And as I said, the process was held consistent with democratic principles. Therefore, we have always sought to have a positive relationship with Venezuela. We will continue to seek to maintain a positive relationship with Venezuela. But their democratic processes need to be taken into account on our part. But also on our part, we look for governments who have achieved a positive democratic result to use that in a positive manner.
QUESTION: Do you think it’s healthy to be able to be reelected indefinitely?
MR. DUGUID: I don’t have an opinion on the democratic practices of Venezuela. In the United States, we have term limits, but that’s our practice.
No opinion at all Mr. Duguid? Perhaps you should swap jobs with a journalist and reverse the unnatural order of things. By the way, democracy is not inherently foolproof (as proven by many fools past and present) and even Hitler was elected democratically...or at least obtained the Chancellorship constitutionally.
The benign language of his responses implies yet another attempt by the Obama administration to "reach out" to regimes that Big Bad Bush previously condemned. Or maybe they are just laying the groundwork for Obama's own planned attempts at exceeding the term limits, a la FDR.
I'm gonna go ahead and compare Mr. Duguid to Druig of Marvel's The Eternals, not only because they have similar names but because of a shared belief in superiority, mind-control and mostly the profound lack of any moral fiber. Also it's fun.
Welcome Robert Stacy McCain Readers!
The great McCain (not the one who produced that annoying blogette who won't go away) has generously and wisely added Superpowers That Be to his Sunday list of bloggers that adhere to his 5 simple rules of the blogosphere. We're also Facebook friends. Shazam!
And bless RSM himself, the flaming sword of the conservative movement.
He ain't no socialist.
1,000,000 here I come!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Even better than watching live tennis is hearing that at least one famous player stood up on behalf of his Jewish colleagues. Andy Roddick has pulled out of the Dubai Tennis Championships, a title he won last year, after officials denied Israeli Shahar Pe'er entry into the women's tournament by the United Arab Emirates.
The practice is common when it comes to Israeli players, a truth that they attempt to obfuscate by granting a visa to Andy Ram, an Israeli men's doubles player and this year's token Jew.
I used to think Roddick was kind of a douche, but it turns out he's one of the decent ones. And whad'ya know, he's from America. (Omaha to be precise.)
For more on the anti-semitism in tennis, read Debbie Schlussel tear pretty much everyone a new one. She's as cathartic as ever.
The first pic's for being honorable. The second's for my site hits. (Kind of a Christina- Hendricks-alternate, for those of us immune to the hourglass.)
While Mr. Mohammed Mohammed continues the legislative process to get billions from Israelis, France has decided that holocaust survivors and descendants have been compensated plenty for the French government's deportation of Jews during the Second World War.
2. The Council of State in France recently acknowledged responsibility in the arrest and deportation of 75,000 Jews by French police, who were then sent to Nazi death camps. Few survived. In the same ruling that confessed the guilt of the collaborationist Vichy regime, the court said “The different measures taken since the end of the Second World War have made reparation as much as possible." So take it somewhere else, Jew.
The ruling reflects a rise in anti-semitic behavior in Europe following the recent Israel-Gaza ass kicking.
3. In London, Justin Butcher and a group of likeminded artists are putting on a play in the Theatro Technis called "Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea." The 80 minute piece is a series of vignettes illustrating the horror done to innocents by the Israeli army, including the listing of 49 Gazans who died after they were supposedly moved to a safe house by the duplicitous invaders. In a sign of their bipartisan support for the play, one of Butcher's donors was the group Jews for Justice in Palestine.
The term "go to Gaza" is an Arabic slang phrase meaning "go to Hell", which reflects the violence done by Israel and the current conditions in Gaza.
4. The Irish Times bravely reports on the horrors endured by the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli Army, including this message left on the wall of a countryside house by an Israeli soldier: "Have you ever wondered what Hell looked like? Well...look around you bitch. Ha Ha Ha. " After complimenting the soldier's penmanship, the intrepid reporter goes on to relay Palestinian confusion as to why Europe does not demand reparations from Israel for the destruction of EU-funded buildings (that their 'so-called-terrorists' were hiding in.)
The anti-Israel sentiment continues across the pond in Hollywood, whose biggest night of the year tepidly approaches.
5. "As an Israeli, I don't know what Hamas really wants. I can't believe most people in Gaza really want Israel to be destroyed. I like to think they just want to live a normal life with human rights and social security." So says Ari Folman, the writer and director of the Oscar nominated anti-war anti-Israeli film Waltz with Bashir. He will be in illustrious company tomorrow, as The Reader, which portrays a sympathetic ex-Nazi and the vindictive Jews who testify against her, is also up for an award.
Among the conservative movies nominated is....well, there's none. Other than Taken the only other conservative film to be released this last year was An American Carol, which starred Geoffrey Arrend in the role of Mohammed.
6. Geoffrey Arrend is also known as the lucky bastard engaged to one Christina Hendricks.
And who can mention Christina Hendricks these days without mentioning Robert Stacy McCain, who's also kinda hot, and rather brilliant.
"Bradford, Yorkshire. There are four flights a week from Islamabad to Bradford, a town where 75 percent of Pakistani Britons are married to their first cousins. But don’t worry, in the country as a whole, only 57 percent of Pakistani Britons are married to first cousins."
I just realized one reason to watch Matthews or Olbermann...if the Earth is threatened by an alien menace and you're having a little trouble turning into the Hulk. Helps get your rage up.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Whedon is at a disadvantage with his Friday night slot, as his early attempts at seducing us with a brand new 'verse must contend with the density, poetry, and kickass action of a show we already have so much invested in. The average viewer doesn't even receive a palate cleanse, as hour follows hour, and "Previously on..." jumps all over "Next week on..."
Still, don't imagine I am counting Mr. Whedon out. (Mr. Midshipman Elias would consider even the possibility sacrilege, but I've matured.) He is a TV writer, in blood as well as style, and has some serious hang-ups about his pilots. Buffy took two hours to say hello (she had me at "ugh"), and the first Firefly we saw was actually episode three, bumped by the studio execs in place of another two-hour pilot. (And that first glimpse had me as similarly unsold as Dollhouse.) Look how those worked out.
Not to mention it easily overshadows Terminator: The Sarah Connor Book Club, if only by having something happen during its allotted 42minutes.
For those of you who go to sleep at 9pm on Fridays and download it the next day, have pleasant commercial-free dreams.
And let the best gorram frakker win.
Well he doesn't actually die, of course. He simply has a dawn meeting with the unbeatable Lady Shiva, who is irritated by his presumption at assuming the role of Gotham City's protector in Batman's absence. (Being one of his earliest mentors, and one of Bruce's as well, it seems she has that right.)
Before their Wild West showdown Robin takes care of business around the city and in the Cave, tying up loose ends and doing what he does. ("Stop eleven muggings. Six bodega hits. Three bank robberies.") He finally ends his ill-fated romance with school mate Zoanne Wilkins. He relays Bruce's final message to Jason Todd, flexing his muscles but giving him another chance. He chats on the phone with his "as-close-as-it-gets-to-being-a-best-friend" Ives. He calls Spoiler but hangs up before leaving a message. He spies on his GCPD contact and her date with his PI, in a very Batman-esque moment. He strategerizes for his future battles with Anarky.
And then he waits for Lady Shiva. Boldly, standing tall like a man, fearless. They fly at each other, and separate, and in the best sequence of the book Robin lands, half-collapses and thinks "Three ribs broken. Channel the pain. Easier said than done. Don't let the pain spoil the moment." We see Lady Shiva fully collapse in the background. "Hmm. Doesn't spoil it. At. All."
In a classic Tim Drake move, Robin takes down Lady Shiva the only way he knows how. By matching overwhelming skill and experience and brawn with detection, foresight and intelligence. He tracked her movements well before she contacted him, and dosed her hotel chocolates with heart-rate activated paralytic poison. (His only gamble was that her heart rate would go up four beats while fighting him, which explains the out-of-character pre-fight threat of "before I kick your ass..." as an attempt to rile her up.)
He proves her wrong, saying "It's only presumptuous if I can't protect Gotham."
Nightwing is in the shadows, which Robin also knows, his constant ally and brother. As he swings off into the early sunlight of Gotham City he acknowledges that Gotham needs a Batman. "The obvious candidate will step up soon enough" he says, humbly voicing the nearly unanimous fan opinion that Dick is the only one who truly deserves the mantle of the Bat. Until then, Gotham has Robin, a stronger, more mature, more Batman-like Robin.
Fabien Nicieza wrote a fantastic final issue. (100 times better than the penultimate one, and far superior to the majority of issues in Robin's surprisingly long run.) He gives Tim's solo title a send-off it deserves, with a clearly defined individual who does not exist in the shadow of his mentors, but under the weight of his own expectations and ambition. Even Freddie Williams manages to draw Tim as more of a grown-up, rather than the mini-Robin so often seen in the animated series or the main Batman titles. In his final pages Tim has poise and presence, and judging from the art leaked by Tony Daniel this will continue in Battle for the Cowl.
The extra unexpected pleasure was the Origins & Omens backstory, which dealt with Obeah Man, the Haitian terrorist who killed his mother years ago (with poison) within the reach of a fighting Batman, before he was officially even Robin. I have often wondered about this villain, about his whereabouts and if he would resurface. The story of Tim's mother's death was a strong and haunting one, and hugely defined his early progress. (He was busy tracking down the original Anarky while Batman went to Haiti to save his parents. Talk about full-circle, villain wise.) To see Tim confront him, to infiltrate Obeah Man's base with ease, to shake off his cheap (and often overused) attempt to bring Tim down with dark memories of his tragic past and knock him out in one strike, was truly cathartic and symbolic of his maturation.
Robin has reached a new level. He is a man now, a capable leader, a detective. He is also the only one who believes Batman will return (partly out of denial, but partly because he sees things realistically without logic being tainted by overwhelming emotion, as happens with Dick and Alfred.) While I am more excited than ever for Battle for the Cowl, for the conflicts and differences in morality and technique while fighting for Gotham, this final issue leaves me with great contentment.
Tim Drake is the best Robin there has ever been, and has the potential to be the most interesting hero in the DCU. Thank you for proving it, Mr. Nicieza. You didn't disappoint. At. All.
Newsarama also has an interview with Mark Brooks, the artist on Paul Cornell's upcoming Dark Reign: Young Avengers. (Can't think of a better writer to bring to YA.)
Too bad Melter's with the Asgardian-tramp, he could have injected some dark sexual tension with Billy and Teddy (though I guess they're just too damn wholesome to have a love triangle.)
It's interesting that the only people connecting monkeys and black people are liberal media and Al Sharpton.
He actually got the New York Post to apologize after his protest, though they deftly excluded him from their regrets by correctly referring to him as an opportunist.
Stinks of Danish Muhammed political cartoon fiasco.
With every passing day, a little more Europe creeps into America.
I hope there's some free valium in the "Stimulus".
More on the monitoring of free speech: Rush's op/ed in the WSJ.
UPDATE: HuffPo retracts. "Correction: John Gibson Did Not Compare Eric Holder To Monkey With Blue Scrotum."
UPDATE 2: Breitbart.tv tracks down the guy who made the fake-cut video, John Sanders of Baltimore.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Serenity is one of the options (after the firefly-class ship from Joss Whedon's Firefly and Serenity.)
Flashback: This isn't Serenity's first trip to the ISS; Breaking Atmo.
According to the Telegraph Gus Van Sant simplified Milk's story for us ignorant masses (if James Franco never heard of Harvey Milk before, that must mean the rest of us are equally uninformed?) by portraying the motivation behind Dan White's murder of Milk and Moscone as the natural homophobia of a repressed homosexual.
As opposed to the frustration of losing his job and enduring the rise of radical left San Fransisco politicians, as was accepted by the court during his trial.
Nonetheless he was a murderer, and he killed a gay guy, which is a crime, and crimes against minorities are always fueled by hate. If only he had seen a movie positively portraying a homosexual while he was growing up, none of this would have happened.
I don't particularly care how the murderer is portrayed however. What I think is interesting are the other omissions, not only in the film but in all teachings of Harvey Milk that I have seen (yes Mr. Franco, he was certainly mentioned in MY high school.)
Particularly how he was such buddies with Jim Jones. Harvey Milk attended the Peoples Temple regularly, used their resources in his political campaigns, advocated on his behalf to President Jimmy Carter, and wrote the following notes to Jones following a Temple visit:
"Rev Jim, It may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave."
As well as "my name is cut into stone in support of you - and your people."
Moscone, too, was a staunch ally of Jones, appointing him the head of the Housing Authority as well as nominating him for the Human Rights Commission. (That's not a joke.)
Ignorance of Jones' true nature is not a sufficient argument to exonerate Milk's connections to the mass-murderer and manipulator, as he also said of the Temple that "there was something creepy about it." However Jones' ability to mobilize a massive army of volunteers and support on a moment's notice was a major asset, and one neither he nor Moscone dared endanger, even after Jones' move to Guyana.
The tendency of progressives and minorities to be drawn in and allied with the socialistic brainwashing Jones (the majority of his Temple was poor Blacks), whether through emotion or ambition or both, is emblematic of the political ideologies of Hollywood and the Left in general. By all accounts Jones had the best of intentions, and won followers through hope for change. Even after Jonestown had been set up, members sent their condolences to Milk upon the death of his lover and invited him to visit. "I hope you will be able to visit us here sometime in Jonestown. Believe it or not, it is a tremendously sophisticated community, though it is in a jungle."
Gus Van Sant portrays the apotheosis of Harvey Milk, a whitewashed history where being gay and murdered is enough to overlook his true character in favor of an Icon that the American public apparently desperately needs. Were true political dissent actually welcomed by Hollywood, perhaps a biopic of Jim Jones would be made, cataloguing the manipulative ease inherent in socialism and savior-based societies, the extremism hidden by grand promises and wishes for equality, and the tragic end that comes part and parcel with a charismatic, powerful leader.
Be wary. They put Flavor-Aid in the Milk.
But they have yet to explain, unless I missed it, how the world is dealing with yet another extended absence from billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Now I image they're used to him 'taking off for the Caribbean' and being out of touch and flaky, but if he's been gone long enough to activate that weird bullet shaped message system for Alfred and the boys, hasn't he been MIA long enough to pique Lucius Fox's interest?
Whether or not Lucius needs him to sign anything, once Bruce doesn't materialize, what is the future of Wayne Industries, and thus the entire Wayne fortune that Dick, Tim and Alfred rely upon?
What is Wayne Enterprises doing in this time of crisis? I'd like to think Lucius Fox has stood his ground and refused to take any government bailout money, but how long till the board forces him too? How long till Lex Luthor tries to take over and get revenge for their No Man's Land trickery?
Does Alfred or Tim take care of the financial/legal matters now? I'm pretty sure they haven't officially announced Bruce's death, and certainly not Batman's, so how long will they pull the ol' Buffy-Bot scenario before the Barney Franks and Rutger Hauers start moving in on the Wayne wealth?
Awaiting fiscal enlightenment. And wondering if Bruce ever invested in gold bullion.
Which is to say, these title has been getting much better. The dialogue is natural, the team makes sense, and the cliffhangers are completely original. This entire book is very unique in the X-world, and is certainly more thought provoking and worth the money than, say, X-Force or Young X-Men.
I'm not sure about its' future, but seeing as there aren't any humongous X-crossovers in the coming weeks, I assume it will continue to roll along and paint a clearer picture of post-M-day mutant life, without having to go to San Fransisco.
Also I'd like to see more of both Monet and Longshot, individually and as whatever couple they're becoming, particularly what with Dazzler's lame return to the main X-team. (Dazzler's back, Longshot's back, Rogue is hangin' out in their old Australian home...I'm just waiting for an English Betsy Braddock and Jubilee to return in time for a throw-down with the Reavers.)
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
The Department of Agriculture in Spain is funding the Valencia regional government to develop a breeding program for the rare Valenciago rabbit, which can grow as large as a lamb, produce 16 young in a litter, and procreate like, well, you know. It is hoped to be an alternative to red meat, what with global warming and economic crises laying waste to the meat biz.
It's definitely not a palooka. And apparently Germany has a similar breed, but theirs comes in grey.
Here's hoping he makes his way back to America some day soon. I'd be happy to relocate.
Here's him doing some English songs: The Man I Love and Jesse.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Teachers College Press, a scholarly, professional and trade publisher focused on the theory and practice of teacher education, has reached agreement on a two-book deal with William Ayers, the University of Illinois at Chicago professor, lauded educational theorist and former leader of the radical 1960s Weather Underground. And, yes, Ayers is indeed the same figure dragooned into the 2008 presidential race in a controversial attempt to use his background in radical politics and a minor acquaintance with Barack Obama to undermine Obama’s presidential run.
In spring 2010, TCP will publish a graphic novel adaptation of To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, a much-praised memoir of Ayers’s life as a teacher, tentatively to be called To Teach: The Graphic Memoir with art by Xeric Award-winner Ryan Alexander-Tanner. More than a simple memoir, To Teach is also a peer-reviewed work of scholarship on Ayers’s teaching precepts as well as a vivid recollection of his adventures in the classroom. At the same time, TCP will publish a new and revised third edition of the original prose To Teach: The Journey of a Teache. One of TCP’s all-time bestselling titles, To Teach was originally published in 1993 and has sold more than 75,000 copies over three printings, the last one released in 2001.
“For an academic/scholarly press, that’s a major bestseller,” noted TCP acquisitions editor Meg Lemke, who “co-acquired” the book with TCP director Carol Saltz, who will edit the new prose edition. Lemke will oversee the production of the graphic edition. Despite the media hoopla over his radical past, Ayers is a serious and much respected Chicago-based educational activist and theorist who has been with TCP for years and published at least five books at the house.
Thanks for all the info Ms. Malkin.
Guess he skipped over the whole gang-rape scenario when penning his autobiography.
Also good to know: the Ayers School scam that took 2billion bucks from Bill Gates, which Obama was a part of. Link.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Not only does it feature perhaps my favorite X-Man Storm in her own 4-issue miniseries, each installment of which was stellar, but it does her justice. Ororo Munroe is one of the most dynamic of X-Men; an orphan, a thief, a Goddess, an X-leader, and now a wife and Queen of Wakanda. Yost not only acknowledges all of these facets, but reveals a natural inherent self-doubt, specifically when the Shadow King turns all the other X-Men against her and releases their darkest criticisms, all of which she feels herself.
Yost plays out the grand battle and Storm's inevitable triumph ingeniously. He merges the old, deep, classic history of the X-Men (with Cyclops venting his past wound over losing a one-on-one battle for leadership with Storm when she was powerless in Uncanny X-Men #201) with the new modern story lines (having the Panther God hide in her mind and devour the Shadow King when he takes the bait).
The premise of the series was to explore Storm's role in this new post M-day, post-marriage age of the X-Men. Is she a Queen before a mutant? A leader or a reservist? A wife or a teacher? How essential is she to the multiple worlds she now inhabits? The answer, though perhaps predictable, is reassuring and in character. She can do it all. Ororo Munroe has no limits. She feels the responsibility of the mutant race, of her Wakandan people, and regular innocent lives with equal depth. And she, like Batman, rises to the challenge of that responsibility, and does not accept failure.
In her showdown with Cyclops Yost and Neves give us some chillingly awesome action panels. In one Cyclops opens at Storm with a full optic blast, and standing stock still she calls down a bolt of lighting that crashes directly in front of her, scattering his energy and protecting her. Immediately after she lunges toward Cyclops to confront him hand-to-hand, whipping up winds so powerful that they actually blow his optic beam off their path. (A la Vulcan in Deadly Genesis, only much more raw and visceral.) These are the kind of comic battles that satisfy the most avid fan, while providing us with never-considered possibilities.
Another minor element that I thoroughly appreciated was the limited exploration of Ororo and Emma Frost's relationship. Often strained, and at times in the past completely opposed, Yost begins to bridge the gap between the two in a natural way. When Storm confronts the amassed X-Men who have been possessed by the Shadow King, she thinks to herself how there is only "one hope" she has to win the battle without hurting her teammate. Unfortunately Emma is knocked unconscious at that point, but Storm's acknowledgment of her considerable power and skill, as well as the humble friendly willingness to ask her for help, proves her confidence in Emma's new leadership. In the end, when all is resolved, Emma quietly thanks her for saving Cyclops, and Storm in return thanks her for making him happy. Perhaps an obvious truth, but one never voiced before.
Storm comes across as the hero she is, an equal if not superior to her husband the King of Wakanda and Cyclops the First X-Man. But her humanity comes through too, her life as a woman finally starting to fall in place in a way she never managed in all her years prior. The final page of Storm flying beside the Blackbird and declaring her lack of limits, much like the final page of Pixie's earlier X-issue, makes me grin like a goofy 12 year old.
So Cheers, Mr. Yost. And thanks. I hope Storm remains in your able hands for at least a few more stories.
Seems to fit his character, namely the sociopathic ability to rationalize any action or desire, the liberal superiority to pass judgment, coerce and self-absolve.
The only time we should be seeing this man's face is on America's Most Wanted, not in lecture halls across the country getting paid to "enlighten" American youth. He should have been castrated years ago.
This is the man whose connection to Obama was a ludicrous stretch perpetrated by the fictional "Republican Attack Machine?" Are there any crimes Obama is willing to prosecute, other than large Christmas bonuses?
Warning: Stomach Turning Content
Rarely, despite years of being inundated by his campaign, have I felt so offended by his sweeping rhetoric describing what "everyone" has come to believe, what "all Americans" want and expect. I do not imagine Obama has had the opportunity to enjoy my blog, but I am more than sure he has heard the voices of opposition to this plan, be they citizens or elected officials. To decry the sentiments of so large a percentage of the nation he leads is outrageous. And his method is heavy-handed, ill spirited, and obvious.
Obama won the Presidency by appealing to the overwhelming antipathy for George W. Bush as well as the general desires of the have-nots and the altruism of the haves. The slogan was "Change" which is short for "Change whatever Bush or Reagan did" or simply "Change America into Europe." But after only two weeks of being in office, the message has become "Fear".
Obama writes that if we do not take action and pass the stimulus, "our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse." What he fails to realize in this blatant attempt at encouraging demoralized panic-voting, is that his hypocrisy is starting to be noticed by the zombies who chose not to get to know him earlier and instead supported an ideal.
In the same article where you claim Americans require action that matches the urgency of their daily lives, you can't also write that Americans are patient enough to know that recovery "will be measured in years, not months." It just doesn't come across as genuine without the audio and video components.
He shows us his hand again when he redefines the stimulus from a "prescription for short-term spending" to a strategy for reworking health care, renewable energy, and education. At least he is telling us the truth, boldly and without reservation, that this economic crisis is a chance for him to alter our government to fit his beliefs in one fell swoop. He lies about the effect the stimulus will have, but that can be attributed to inexperience, a long-known characteristic of this administration.
It is a different thing entirely to put words in our mouth, to tell me what it is I want and need and think and feel, which is perfectly representative of what his post-stimulus government would begin to look like. "[O]ur destiny isn't written for us, but by us" he writes. What it should be is "Your destiny isn't written for you, but by you."
I am not part of a collective. I am a free citizen of a united state, and I control my own fate. (Up to a point, of course. No offense intended to God.)
I have never felt the victim of such an offensive act of attempted manipulation by a President of America, and that is probably why it is good to be young. Another good thing is the ability to rebound from cynicism and shock rather quickly, and embrace the strong possibility that more and more people are reading his words, receiving his message, and thinking for themselves.
This crisis certainly is an opportunity, Mr. President.
The positive suspension of expectation that occurs after opening the beautiful acceptance letter lasts for several months. Your parents get off your case and glow with pride, your classmates are either mutually content or sickly jealous, and high school suddenly seems a hell of a lot smaller. This, in fact, is the true Honeymoon Period, where you feel accomplished and promising, yet you have to do zero work.
Inevitably this gives way to a less comforting and far more sharply defined reality, namely Orientation Week (+/- 5 days). Despite your mindset or hours spent watching movies that take place on college campuses, this transition period is characterized by disorientation, anxiety, and clumsy unconvincing attempts at adaptation. For some those attempts are limited to a quiet attendance of classes, a head-down bee line walk between class, dorm and dining hall, and the rest of the day spent in your room with your new assigned friend.
Others however, and this is the template Obama falls under, take a more aggressive tack. In convincing other people that he belongs there, he can convince himself. He is the student who raises his hand regardless of information, opinion, or expertise. The one who senses the timidity of the student body and rises above it with volume. He asks obvious questions, raises points that are neither helpful nor a hindrance to the conversation, and most importantly panders to his audience.
For instance in a Gender Studies class he knows the demographics so well he would never say "I'm sorry to interrupt Professor, but I don't agree that the words 'paranoid' and 'melodramatic' are code words used in sexual discrimination. In fact in my experience the world today, and especially our nation, is pretty evolved and in most cases beyond such petty grievances. It seems to only exist in academia as a topic of rigorous study and debate with little real life application."
No, no that wouldn't do. If he truly wanted to solidify his place in the intellectual existence and activity of his new surroundings, he would try a very different approach. "The male dominance that occurs in all parts of societies also impacts women in the sexual realms, repressing their identities and consciousnesses to such an extent that, as Irigaray or the Radicalesbians say, female homosexuality is possibly the only means for a woman's sexual and personal awakening."
That's liberal arts gold. Not because its kinda hyperbolic, fluffy, BS I just made up, but because it panders to its obviously left-leaning audience.
Obama has a masters degree in pandering. Well, at least I think he does but as so many of his school records have yet to be released, who knows for sure. (We do know he didn't have a high enough GPA as an undergrad in Harvard to have honors, a considerable achievement considering their grade inflation, but what we're told to focus on is his magna cum laudatory from law school.) Obama probably thrashed around uncomfortably in the halls and green lawns of university life much less than the rest of us, adjusting easily to the valued characteristics of ego, righteousness and victimhood. After Hawaii and Indonesia his skin color was suddenly more noticable and significantly more bankable, as it gave weight to everything he said, even comments unrelated to race as most liberal arts professors harbor and propagate a massive dollop of white guilt. Academia was Obama's wheelhouse, and his arrogance and success grew in leaps and bounds, carrying him to the highest office in the land.
Now that he is there, however, things aren't going as he expected. The media, so content spending a decade as the opposition and tarring and feathering his predecessor, have suddenly realized they can't write the same hopeychange stories his whole term, and are beginning to criticize and question and actually report. His staff of modern day Davids, of PowerBook carrying and white chocolate mocha drinking recent graduates, are suddenly out of their element as they find themselves in actual jobs, with actual desks and hours and duties, as opposed to buses and blogs and facebook campaigns. They flub and they flail, and they try to pretend they're back in college, the freshman walking tall like a senior hoping no one will notice.
But we notice. It is obvious. Obama has had two weeks of consecutive failures and embarassments. The amateur nature of his people and himself is startling to many who claimed Jesus too was a community organizer. (Doesn't mean Jesus ever worked on Windows XP.) Now in a time of crisis, elevated to false 'catastrophe', he returns to his default mode of pandering by attacking a common enemy of all people who share his ideology; rich white dudes. First Limbaugh, now Wall Street, Obama is actively choosing his battles and choosing the wrong ones.
The President of the United States of America does not take on private citizens, does not control a specific profession's salary, does not joke about Jessica Simpson, does not only offer platitudes and prophesies of doom at a time of debate and confrontation. He does not minimize the power and reach of his office by continuing campaign rhetoric and playing to his base. Those are the methods of a college student trying to fit in, trying to find their way in a new environment, in a higher echelon of life and personal accomplishment.
So far the transition from University of Chicago Politics to the Washington White House Grad School has been disastrous. But to be fair most freshman make a few missteps in their early days. The ones who can't recover, however, end up increasing the transfer rate.
Unfortunately Obama has nowhere else to go. He's reached the top, and hopefully the years will fly by before he fully realizes the scope of his power. Or else we might see an executive order mandating female homosexuality and naming Harvard as the center for government of the north east.
Beware the cocky academic who can talk for hours and not say anything. And notice how the camera exposes them the longer they continue speaking.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Grant Morrison, professional 'destructionist', gave an interview to IGN comics after the conclusion of his long-running, far-reaching, practically unreadable Final Crisis. In the last installment one of the many story lines includes the recruitment of multiple versions of Superman from the Multiverse to save our Earth. The primary Superman we see is also the President of his alternate United States, as well as black.
"IGN Comics: How about the African American Superman/President in Final Crisis #7? It seems like you're having some fun with the idea of Barack Obama as this conglomeration of hero, leader and celebrity.
Morrison: Completely. What I was thinking, because I wrote that obviously last year, was that Obama was getting in in February, and I realized this comic would be out right around that time. I knew it was going to happen. And so Final Crisis #7 has Darkseid defeated, and the good guys have won and everything is bright and optimistic again, I knew that the feeling in America was going to be the same. When Final Crisis started, I wanted to talk about the kind of crushing horror of the George Bush/Tony Blair axis we all had to live through. Final Crisis was my fictional diary of how it felt to live through the early years of the 21st century.
By the end of that, there's this wind-of-change feeling that Obama brings to America and by extension everyone else – as to whether things actually change, we'll see. I wanted to open Final Crisis #7 with that feeling that the weather had changed. And it's the DC Universe, where anything can happen so here's a black President Superman and we're off! I think this guy's a little better looking than Obama, though. I mean, Obama's a fine-looking fella, but I don't think he could fill out that Superman suit. [laughs] This guy is more Muhammad Ali. So we have him, and we also have Beyonce as Wonder Woman. That's Beyonce at the microphone. [laughs]"
Like Viggo Mortenson on Charlie Rose comparing Sauron to Bush, Morrison channels his liberal rage and distaste for Bush by equating him with Darkseid, with the sweeping effect of the Anti-Life Equation that destroys the world in minutes, transforming humans and heroes alike into fascist hateful murderers who feel no joy or hope and are justified in their extreme violence and subordination by an allegiance to a dark god. Sounds more like Islam to me.
Morrison rambles ethereally for six pages, pontificating about storytellers and comics and God and other topics so massive and intellectual that I was forced to skim them (Final Crisis had the same effect.) For all his reworking of genres, of destructing the DC Universe, of love stories and reality bending and gore and defeat, he commits the same mistake most liberal artists do when describing their work; he gives about a dozen explanations for what he wrote and verifies the many many layers of theme and 'poetic density'. Then he slaps Bush into the good vs. evil metaphor and shows that at least some of his layers are superficial and pandering.
Popular sentiment on the internet and from fans is generally hateful and disappointed in this series, and his current Batman arcs, while 'official' comic reviewers gush and analyze what they don't understand, compensating with verbosity, a la the Nueva York Times. Morrison acknowledges this, but basically responds that he could care less, that there are those who adore it and dance to its drug addled techno rhythm. Even more insulting, he assumes the position of comic authority, seeing as he gets paid to write them, and compares our amateur criticism to giving doctors advice based on watching last week's House. According to him the very strong sales numbers of FC and Batman: R.I.P. prove his success. Unfortunately he misses the point that people who love Batman always buy Batman, especially when they're told he is going to be killed in that particular story. This is something he should really understand, since he compares us later to fast-food addicts who buy burgers every day and expect them to taste the same each time.
The arrogance and self-importance of GM is not really surprising after reading his work. Correspondingly his connection between ultimate bloody tyrannical evil and George W. Bush is also not shocking, as well as pedestrian and tired especially considering his love for the new guard vs. old guard battle.
While comics can be art, and art can be mind-blowing and epiphanous, Morrison is mired in the need to be unique, revolutionary, a new creator for a new century. In his attempt to subvert, he parrots the most unoriginal idioms of our times and falls far short of true art. Final Crisis is shock-value, is agit-prop pulp, and fails to provide the basic element all comic books should contain: entertainment.
Thanks to Rich at comicbycomic.com for providing us with the REAL last page of FC#7:
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
As a Faces of Evil tie-in, the issue pretends to focus on the new(ish) villain Anarky (he's so anti-establishment he even spells it wrong) but mostly just gives him a scary cover. Anarky, it turns out, is not the old computer-hacking electric-baton cheeseball of the '90s, but even the more grating and flat nemesis of Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, the boy General who would plot military coups and trap Robin in his parents' basement with a lion. (Some of those 180 issues were pretty rough.) Armstrong has mysteriously aged and buffed up, and is now inciting chaos and mayhem among gangs, cops, mercenaries, and the other violence oriented groups that make up Gotham City.
Now for the past few months, since Batman's kind-of-but-not-really death and disappearance, Tim has been struggling to fill Bruce's shadow and maintain order in the city. They've shown him grow increasingly Machiavellian, repeating such phrases as "manipulate the gangs", "control the patterns" yada yada yada in an attempt to rig the odds in his favor. In the absence of Batman the writers have systematically stripped away the most important moral tenets Tim Drake inherently has as well as those taught to him by Batman leaving an unrecognizable Robin who has more in common with Azrael or Jason Todd.
In the issue Robin has manipulated events so that the gangs, the police, the erstwhile heroes and the main villain are all assembled in one city block, and then proceeds to lay the smack down on the bad guy. But things go badly. Bombs start exploding all over the place, preplanted and overlooked by Robin. Anarky's mysterious tape recorder keeps repeating things like "rise up brothers" and "there is no hope but hopelessness" which of course causes the sheep-like gangs to start killing each other. And then in the cliffhanger cliche moment (literally, Armstrong dangling over a building top, holding on to Robin) Tim must choose between saving the Spoiler (Stephanie Brown, his one-time lover and fellow hero) or Officer Harper (his new Gordon-like tie to the GCPD) from a final planted bomb.
This scenario has been seen, particularly in Batman and Robin stories, hundreds if not thousands of times. And, generally, Batman finds a way to save them both, or change the game and bend the rules. He does the impossible, because anything less is failure and he doesn't accept failure. But as Robin is forced to choose between a friend and a lover, he realizes that isn't the choice...the truth is that Stephanie lied to him by doing some of her own manipulations to try and make him better (um...did she learn NOTHING from the hundreds of people that died as a result of her War Games?) whereas Officer Harper listened to him by finding and bringing Armstrong's family to the scene of the crime in an attempt to play on his emotions and get him to stop.
So he decides to save the chick who has done right by him most recently. Yeah, that's real in-character.
Not only that, but he doesn't realize she brought Armstrong's brother and sister along with his parents, and that they're still in the car next to the mailbox-bomb. So they die. But hey, at least Gotham City knows she has a protector, he muses, as he does a fist pump while standing triumphant on the skyline.
The temporary fact of Batman's absence is a scenario unlikely to be repeated in upcoming years and ripe with possibilities to develop the character of Tim Drake. But instead of development, as is so often the case in comics these days, the writers and editors went for destruction, making Tim increase the risk factor and develop his own rules. Anyone who has followed his growth for years knows that with Bruce not around he actually errs the other way, becoming too cautious and relying on his significant detective skills rather than guns-blazing showdowns.
At the end of the issue he visits Jason Todd in prison, whom he put there, and gives him the Justice League teleportation code so that he can break out. Cause that's what Robin does--bends rules, breaks laws, and acts without thinking.
If this is a hint of what's to come in Battle for the Cowl, I despair. With the impending cancellation of his own title, I was sure the writers would reinforce the authoritative and skillful maturity of Tim Drake, not mercilessly annihilate everything good and likable about him. Shame on them.
But the great thing about comics is that in a few weeks, with a different writer, it's highly likely that my Tim will be back. And I love the very idea of Robin so much, the damaged but resilient light to Batman's heavy grimness, that I'll keep reading.
- Eric Holder, attorney general nominee, was registered to lobby until 2004 on behalf of clients including Global Crossing, a bankrupt telecommunications firm [now confirmed].
- Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year on behalf of the National Education Association.
- William Lynn, deputy defense secretary nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for defense contractor Raytheon, where he was a top executive.
- William Corr, deputy health and human services secretary nominee, was registered to lobby until last year for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a non-profit that pushes to limit tobacco use.
- David Hayes, deputy interior secretary nominee, was registered to lobby until 2006 for clients, including the regional utility San Diego Gas & Electric.
- Mark Patterson, chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for financial giant Goldman Sachs.
- Ron Klain, chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, was registered to lobby until 2005 for clients, including the Coalition for Asbestos Resolution, U.S. Airways, Airborne Express and drug-maker ImClone.
- Mona Sutphen, deputy White House chief of staff, was registered to lobby for clients, including Angliss International in 2003.
- Melody Barnes, domestic policy council director, lobbied in 2003 and 2004 for liberal advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Constitution Society and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
- Cecilia Munoz, White House director of intergovernmental affairs, was a lobbyist as recently as last year for the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group.
- Patrick Gaspard, White House political affairs director, was a lobbyist for the Service Employees International Union.
- Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to the president’s assistant for intergovernmental relations, lobbied for the American Association of Justice from 2001 until 2005.
"Iran's presence in space with the aim of expanding monotheism, peace and justice has now been officially recorded in history," said high priest President Mahmoud Ahmagonnakillalldemjews.
Iran test-fired a dummy satellite rocket last February as well, claiming it also reached low earth orbit, while the United States claimed it was a failure. The US also released a biting statement describing the blatant test as "unfortunate." Iran currently has a satellite in orbit, but that was launched as a gesture of goodwill and camaraderie by their buddies in Russia.
Much of Iran's technology is developed from weaponry donated to them by China and North Korea, the latter of which has returned from a long mainstream media holiday after recent large developments.
North Korea is apparently planning a test launch of their newest long range missile, the Taepodong-2. It has a range of 4000 miles and is capable of striking the United States in either Hawaii or Alaska, as well as Australia, Japan, and anyone else in between.
North Korea's successful weapons development program was boosted in 1993 when Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto altruistically sold them blueprints of missiles that could cover 800 miles. They have since made advancements.
As Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il play with their toys, Putin and Castro break bread, and Chavez celebrates the first 10 years of his life long term. Meanwhile President Barack Obama staggers under the weight of his own promises, as all sides of the media begin to discuss and expose the holes in his 'sweeping ethics reform' of Washington policy.
Our only hope are those mythical CIA agents who "prevent bad things from happening" (as Liam Neeson says in Taken), who operate without the red-tape of bureaucracy, and who wear wigs to effectively infiltrate and destroy weapons factories.
In lieu of their existence, however, stick to your regularly scheduled programming, and try not to look up.