Episodic

May 3, 2014

Knowing what I know as I drift along the time breeze, I have to say that series (television, comic, etc) which are episodic are more to my liking. They are, in fact, more natural, the way they imitate the constant re-upping of reality which you call ‘the dawn of a new day’. The trend these days is for continuity–no longer do we see our friends the characters embarking on a new adventure each week/month; now, a whole series is really like a 20+ hour movie. Unnatural–the directness of causality is not generally so obvious in nature: links between unrelated events and players reveal themselves much later. These continuity series lay it all out for you, acting as if the universe operates in a manner that makes all the causal links part of the same chain. Not so.
And on that note, I do not welcome comments from you lovers of the Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, House of Cards, True Detective et al. The forum for discussing such awesomeness is not lacking, you do not need to let Cavebot know how wrong you find him.  I lay before you the greatest American television series of all time (list non-exhaustive):

5. Law and Order: Criminal Intent
4. Rawhide
3. The Twilight Zone
2. South Park
1. Star Trek (original series)

Honorable Mentions, Special Categories:
Land of the Lost (Best Documentary Series) and
Monday Night Football (Best Religious Program).

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What are we–dogs? (Class and Race, Part II)

April 29, 2014

I’ve seen your future, so you must believe me–skin-color is becoming more homogenous, especially in countries such as the United States and Brazil. That shouldn’t be the necessary factor, however, for the current generations to overcome racism. Since I know it best, let me comment on race in America (it seems to be a hot topic, yes?):

1. ‘Race’ comes from a word meaning ‘root’. In America, everybody’s ancestors (even the Amerindians, if we can go back about 30000 years) uprooted themselves to go to the new world, whether by choice or by force. At the moment of this uprooting, they (and consequently you) were déracinés (un-rooted, and thus de-raced). Once on American soil ‘race’ was a thing of the past. Get it?

2. Make sure you are not confusing ‘race’ with ‘class’. Certain peoples have historically belonged to certain social classes (by force, then by the force of institutional tradition). When you express racial hatred, you might be transferring your class hatred. This is necessary because we must simultaneously think that we have a nation of equals yet process the empiric evidence that shows we don’t.

3. Some forms of racial hatred/bias may be simply from a poor education in aesthetics, namely, thinking that there is arguing over taste.

There isn’t.

You not liking someone’s looks, or their social behavior, or their taste in culture, this is a matter of personal aesthetics. Your tastes are not superior to those of others, they are different. You must keep in mind:

de gustibus non disputandum est.

More on the cures for racism (long-term) later.

 

Diabolik

April 28, 2014

I, like most of the nation of Clerville (it’s in another continuum, but you should have access to its newpapers), have been following the story of Diabolik and his lovely accomplice, Eva Kant. This criminal has been pulling off the most fascinating heists against the most deserving victims imaginable–the ultra-wealthy and the aristocratic holders of inherited wealth and power. This in itself makes for an amazing series of events. What is most interesting, I find, is that Diabolik is the very embodiment of a reversal of our preconceived notions about the forces of order. Diabolik’s nemesis, the inspector Ginko, tries (and fails) to foil our anti-hero. As an officer of the law, one might expect him to uphold order; in fact, he’s is the one who spreads chaos! Diabolik’s plans depend on the master-thief being able to foresee the maximum number of eventualities. Ginko serves as the unforeseen, the element of chaos which tries to undermine Diabolik’s incredible sense of order. Law and Order, you say? Bah! It would be more accurate to say Law and Disorder!

Chaos (with gun):

ginko

Order (love and unity):

48-02r

Anarchy, Part I (Addendum)

April 27, 2014

When I expressed my distaste for murderers and rapists, and implied that these lowlifes are partly responsible for the continued existence of the violent authority of ‘justice’ systems, I failed to mention another group. These are the pimps. They are just awful, despite being portrayed as cool in too much of our cultural product. I would compare them to that which I scrape off my shoe, but I have too much esteem for dog shit to compare it to a pimp. Traders in human flesh, as bad as a slave trader or a slave master; in fact, let’s not make any distinction.
Hear that, pimp? You are less than shit. Change. Stop doing the vile thing that you do. You lower us all just by existing. Take the time to fuck off, you foul loser.

Stop Calling Them That

April 26, 2014

Please. I know how popular they are these days. I know that the Avengers movie made more money in a weekend than all of Marvel’s sales during the silver-age combined. I know that the kids all thought Heath Ledger’s Joker was the sweetest performance ever. I know these things…but please, stop calling them Comic Book Movies. They are not Comic Book Movies, they are movies based on characters and stories which first appeared in comic books. We don’t call movies based on novels “Realist fiction movies”. If you want to see a comic book movie, watch David Lynch’s Dune. All those voice-overs while there’s a close-up of the character–thought balloons (or the cinematic equivalent)! Or for a different take on it (ungood, as opposed to Dune‘s double-plus good), watch a 60s Fantastic Four cartoon, or a Dennis the Menace cartoon–the animation is so lazy it looks like they filmed a comic book or Sunday strip from panel to panel then did voice-overs.
So please: Super-Hero movie=yes; comic book movie=no.
Tune in later for my comments on ‘Comics for people who don’t normally read comics’.

Anarchy, Part II

April 22, 2014

I’m telling you here in your present, because I know you all want a future:
The only reason anyone should starve is if everyone is starving.
Other than that, no excuse.

Five Most Awesome Ancient Dramas

April 21, 2014

5. Thyestes (Seneca). Cannibalism, on stage.
4. Oedipus Rex (Sophocles). The first detective story.
3. Frogs (Aristophanes). Gods disguised as other gods, shitting-my-pants jokes, literary criticism, the ghosts of frogs.
2. Herakles (Euripides). Regicide, infanticide, forgiveness.
1. Bacchae (Euripides). Booze, xenophobia, dismemberment. Still untopped, even by Billy Shakes.

Anarchy, Part I

April 19, 2014

The ‘Annual Time-Travelling Anarchists Convention’ has just taken place (I won’t try to explain how we, as surfers of the time waves, calculate ‘annual’). The focus this year (that year?) was, as it so often is, misconceptions about anarchy. Since trying to explain fully what we mean by anarchy to people with ‘democratic values’ is like trying to explain democracy to a bunch of cavemen (I know, I’ve tried), we’ll take this slowly.

1) Although the existence of police, judges, and jailers in our societies is undesirable, we find murderers and rapists to be far less desirable.

Mull over that for a while; perhaps the image of the trench-coated bomb-tosser will start to fade away.
More to come.

Statehood and Aspect Ratio

April 15, 2014

Reporting from the year 1876:

I came in for a landing (I won’t even try to explain the chrono-geography of time-travel) above the high plains east of the Rocky Mountains. It struck me that no geological feature provides insight into the borders of the Union’s newest state, Colorado. As the Western Lands were parcelled into territories (and subsequently states), it is apparent that the delimitations were arbitrary.
Or were they?
I know my mathematics. I performed a school-boy operation of division, and have had my suspicions confirmed. Colorado is the harbinger of a new age. Is this, as the rush of miners might suggest, a new Golden Age? Far from it. A few short decades hence, and the prognosticative indications of Coloradan borders will be clear. What am I on about?
Aspect Ratio! Colorado’s ratio of width to height:

coloradoAR

finds itself so neatly nestled between the two nearly-identical aspect ratios (actually, rationes) which dominated the 20th Century and have led to the format whose hegemony over our minds is complete. Yes, my device-obsessed blockheaded friends, I am talking about TV Screen/Computer Monitor and Cinema film standards.
If you know your mathematics, you can verify this.
Colorado, by its very geometric shape, revealed to unseeing eyes the advent of the age which is upon us.
The message couldn’t be clearer:
Turn off your screens and look at the land.

Class and Race

April 11, 2014

Remember, after today’s lesson there’ll be a 10K run. Bring your thinking caps and sneakers!