Archive for August, 2009

On the Tyranny of Verisimilitude

Posted: August 31, 2009 in Braak, poetics
Tags: , ,

As promised.

The theater of the late 19th and early 20th century is replete with stories of daring theater managers trying to outdo each other by creating vast technical marvels; impresarios were doing all kinds of outlandish things, like building giant treadmills onstage so that they could stage Ben-Hur’s chariot race, or whole butcher shops so that the audience could appreciate the smell of meat.

Part of this, I think, was the rise of the photograph:  every year, chemists and Kodak were coming closer and closer to a precise rendition of exactly what the eye could see.

And, naturally, this led to film.



Hand of Danger page 13 previewHand of Danger recommences!  Behold, fearless readers, as we begin the episodes in our STUNNING CONCLUSION!



Today on Threat Quality

Posted: August 28, 2009 in Threat Quality

I lied and told Holland that I’d have something to put up today.  I DO NOT.

So.  Here is the Hulu link to Masters of the Universe.

Jeanine and I were watching this and She Ra the other day.  Have you ever noticed how much more Hordak had his shit together than Skeletor?  Hordak had armies of goons, and spaceships and things, and had basically conquered that whole planet that She Ra lived on.  Skeletor just had, like, his five guys, and constantly had to beat the crap out of them to keep them in line.  I feel like Skeletor was more personally powerful than Hordak, but Hordak was better in terms of organization.

OswaltThe Dreaded Deadline Doom (and yes, I AM going to keep talking like Stan Lee, thank you very much!) is upon me, so I’ll just mention two things that are Patton Oswalt related.

1) This interview with Patton Oswalt! Ostensibly promotion for his new album/TV special “My Weakness is Strong,” but man, Oswalt never phones it in (even though I’d assume this was a phone interview). Two pages of thoughtful answers and discussion, including this gem that particularly made me smile, since it dovetails nicely with something I’ll post next week:

“There were things—you’re right, everything is very politicized these days, literally down to what kind of coffee you drink—that I used to fight with people about. And by the way, not just people like Republicans and Christians, but liberal friends of mine and very radical left-wing types, and alternative, indie types. I would fight and try to win the argument, as if I have to justify what I’m doing. And I think one of the good things about getting older is, I just listen to all the arguments and nod my head and go, “Oh, that’s interesting.” And then I just do what the fuck I want to do.””

Which reminds me (uh…True Believer!), have you gone and bought his very funny CD yet? It is available at all fine Targets throughout the land!


2) Tangentially related to Patton Oswalt (due to his delightful analysis of KFC’s Famous Bowls – “America has spoken: Pile my food into a fucking bowl.”), I think you need to see this. KFC has figured out the problem with sandwiches. Which is to say, their sandwichy-ness:

Bunless burger

Goddamn it, KFC. Just…goddamn it. Stop. Please stop before you kill us all. You’re CHICKEN, how can you be so…I dunno, McDonaldsy about all this?!

And now, because it pleases me to do so, the aforementioned Oswalt bit about KFC Famous Bowls.


Hand of Danger page 12 previewHand of Danger continues, something something something.  Final confrontation begins next week!



Hand of Danger!

Posted: August 26, 2009 in Threat Quality

Hand of Danger page 11 previewZen action conclusion!  Are you excited about this?  You god-damn well better be.



Samuel Delany, Used Books, &c.

Posted: August 26, 2009 in Braak, poetics
Tags: ,

I realized the other day that, between the used bookstore, the regular bookstore, the guitar shop, comic shop, grocery store, fancy beer store two live theaters and one movie theater, I could move to a place around 22nd and Sansom in Philadelphia and never leave the three or four square blocks around it.  Seriously, what other things might I be looking for?  There’s even a place where I can buy nice pants.

The point I’m getting to is not how great that particular section of Philadelphia is (though it is pretty great), but about the used bookstore that I found there, which was also great.  And the point of that is not that I got a bunch of old 70s sci-fi paperbacks for fifteen bucks, but that I have finally picked up and read some books by Samuel R. Delany, now.