Archive for December, 2010

I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…

Wide receiver Stevie Johnson, of the Buffalo Bills sports team, to God, after Johnson dropped a potential game-winning touchdown pass.  He said this some time ago on Twitter, which is especially interesting.  I don’t know if God follows Stevie Johnson on Twitter.  Presumably, God — being omniscient — would know of the tweet and its content regardless of whether or not He was following Johnson, even if Johnson’s twitter feed was locked.

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It is the Christmas season, and Christmas season means those Rankin and Bass stop-motion animation specials.  You’ve probably seen at least Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer–because EVERYONE’s seen that one–but there’s actually a whole bunch of them, and they get sort of increasingly demented.

Jeanine just bought a DVD for five dollars that has Year Without A Santa on it, and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year.

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I dunno about Chris, but this week’s a bit packed for your old uncle Holland. So, in the grand tradition, I offer a week of reruns. Starting WITH!

Let’s Talk About Christmas Songs, Why Not?

Thing 1: If you are stumped for a Christmas gift for the comics lover in your life, you could do a lot worse than Atomic Robo. Seriously. I know it can be hard to buy a comic for someone if you don’t really know their tastes, or worse if you don’t really know comics yourself. But after reading the free material on the website and the first collection (“The Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne”), I’m pretty sure there is nothing in here that a comic book reader wouldn’t love.

Even one of those jackasses who’s still dressing like Neil Gaiman and insisting that “The Crow” is great because come on, guy, it’s 2010 and is Depeche Mode even still together GAH! Anyway: The enthusiastic awesomeness of AR might be just the thing to get them to realize comics aren’t just for moping around like a wiener. (If you’d like a less confrontational gift, get them The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, because it turns out My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way is actually a pretty great comic book writer.)

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Thing 2: (more…)

I’m of a few minds when it comes to product placement in pop culture. Mind #1 (The “pissy art purist” argument) – of course it’s not great. Every moment the makers of a given TV show or movie are making deals over, say, which scene would best showcase a giant Mountain Dew vending machine in the background is a moment they’re not working in service of the acting or the script.

Mind #2 (The “Fuck it” argument) – (more…)

Why I’m Not a Mathematician

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Braak
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I am putting this up to avoid the work that I know I’m supposed to be doing.  It is, ultimately, a story that reveals my own capacity for spite far more than it exposes problems in our education system.

Anyway, I was thinking about this because of the recent Gawker hack, that leaked their database of encrypted passwords.

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The Thing About Wikileaks

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Braak
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Hahah, I don’t know anything about Wikileaks.  I’m not even sure how to parse this, at all.  On the one hand, yeah, I understand the need for a nation to have the ability to keep some of its operations secret.  That makes sense.  But it’s not like what’s turning up on Wikileaks is “Here’s where are special forces all hang out after a hard day of shooting.”  It’s all stuff like, “Yeah, the government has been handing prisoners over to people who we know will torture them.  Also, did you know about the secret war we’ve been waging in Yemen?”

It’s hard to be a “patriot” and defend the government when the government is engaging in a war that I think is wrong on basically every level:  morally wrong in the first place, ideologically untenable in the second, and fundamentally impracticable in the third.

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At what point did Sherlock Holmes become an arrested adolescent?

If there’s one commonality among the three modern Sherlock Holmes adaptations – Fox’s “House,” BBC’s “Sherlock,” and the Guy Ritchie movie(s) – it’s the characterization of Holmes as basically refusing of adult relationships and bonds, and a pettiness when his primary companion, Watson, has the audacity to seek out such relationships himself.

In each scenario, the relationship is of Holmes as a kid who’s best buddy just discovered girls and didn’t have time to play detective anymore. But when did this subtext creep into the Holmes stories, and what does it say about how we view Holmes as a pop-culture figure?

Watch as I don’t answer either of those questions, but at least point out…  (more…)

Yes.

It is called Strange Aeons.

Let me explain.  Some years ago — five,  I think — I got to thinking.  Why is it that there aren’t really any good Lovecraft-inspired movies?  Surely it’s possible to combine HPL’s terrifying cosmic horror with the bleak, snazzy 30s noir style to which it would be suited?  Just write a good script, it’s not that hard!

So, I sat down and wrote it and, lo and behold:  it wasn’t.  This is just the regular, good movie of monster-gods and guys-in-fedoras that we’ve always wanted, and no one grows a penis out of their face.

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Numbers

Posted: December 3, 2010 in Braak
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Between the three books (The Translated Man, The Translated Man and Other Stories, and Mr. Stitch), if you count the sales this month and the stuff that I managed to move at this and last year’s PhilCon, I have sold a total of about 900 copies.

This is, obviously, not enough to make a living.  But I remain optimistic.