mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Like many things, this started as a comment on someone else's post, but got far too long for that. So, this is my view on the boycott of Scott Card's work on Superman being conducted by some comic shops and, presumably, comic purchasers.

Firstly I should point out that I don't buy Superman, the concept doesn't interest me that much. Scott Card writing it isn't likely to make me change my mind, so I can't really boycott the work, as I had no intention of buying it in the first place. Alan Moore, perhaps, but then he's already done the Miracle-Man arc, which is his exploration of what a real Superman would be.

I think it's perfectly valid for people to complain about an artist's views and to boycott that artist's work if they don't like those views, but personally I prefer to accept the art as it is, and not be bothered by the creator's personal views, unless those views actually do make their work bad. While a work can be, and almost always is, coloured by an artist's views to some extent, much of the time, especially when those views are not relevant to the thrust of the work, those views do not come across in the work in any significant way.

I think Scott's being a Mormon and vehemently disliking gays are both abhorrent practices, but that doesn't mean I'll automatically dismiss his art. I feel "Enders Game", and the series derived from it, is a classic of the genre and that won't change regardless of Scott's views on any subject. Scott has also written and edited probably the best self-help guides for aspiring SF authors out there. But his "Alvin Maker" series too closely parallels certain Books of Mormon, and suffers greatly for it.

Frank Miller is a homophobic, sexist, ableist, anti-Islamic, right wing bigot, but his art and writing in "Daredevil", "Ronin" & "The Dark Knight Returns" (the original comic) are superb. "300" however, is a complete load of crap because he let his views get too close to the surface of his work. On the other hand, "300" was one of Miller's more financially successful franchises, and I suspect people may be fooling themselves if they think DC are going to be negatively impacted in any significant way by being associated with Scott.

Tom Cruise and John Travolta are religious fruitcakes who also make stupid pronouncements in public, among other things. I happen to think that Travolta's performances in things like "Pulp Fiction" & "Swordfish" are great, and Cruise's performance's in "Rain Man" and "Born on the Fourth of July" are even more impressive.

Wagner wrote some great music, even though he was basically a Nazi.

To me, it's nice when an artist, in whatever field, happens to have social or political views that are similar to my own, but it's not necessary for me to enjoy their work, and I prefer to examine the work, not the artist, when making an aesthetic judgement on the work's quality.

If I did not do that, I would have to dismiss Shakespeare as being anti-semitic, sexist, classist, and numerous other things that are unacceptable today.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Climbing high on a windy mountain overlooking the sea to get a better view of the massive tidal & storm surges in the ocean below, I watched sea birds glide down to the sea, becoming first dots, and then invisible against the steel grey mountains of water. One of them grew bigger instead, growing past the size of a seabird, until I was aware that it was a human in a feathered flight suit. He hovered almost stationary in front of me, balancing in mid-air between the updraft of the cliffs and the wind rushing over the top of the mountain.

"Come on" he said, "There'll never be a better time than this!" I signed assent, and he folded his arm wings, plummeting feet first like a missile toward the heaving seas below. I watched him accelerate to terminal, and shortly before he became too small to see, I saw the orange glow of lift fields extending, transferring much of his vertical velocity to horizontal, and he finally disappeared from my normal vision as he speared down towards a wave that seemed as large as Kapiti Island, but it was not all that different in a sea of waves of similar or larger size.

My ocular enhancers and HUD activated at a thought, and my sight of Kurt (yes, suddenly I remembered his name was Kurt) became clear again. Small coloured dots appeared in my field of vision, indicating other fliers, with ID info. Some rich fuckers had paid for custom icons to appear on my HUD. Around the edges of my vision the dots were replaced by arrows pointing to items outside my site. The sea itself had a number of dots, some green & tiny moving in shoals, others in red, moving fast around the shoals. I focused and zoomed on one with a rising altitude indication just in time to see it break surface in pursuit of prey. It looked like something from Earth's past, a sea-going dinosaur fish with armoured plates and multiple rows of needle teeth.

Cutting the HUD, I made some last minute adjustments to my own suit and moved to the edge of the cliff, balancing myself against the updraft. To be honest, I was scared. Sure we had the flight suits. But the scale of this sea coast, the size of the waves, the consequences of any failure of equipment or skill... then I laughed at myself. Of course, that was the point wasn't it? The fantastic feeling of fear, the rush of the risk... I leaned over the edge supported only by the updraft and savoured the terror.

I folded my arm-wings, and no longer supported by the updraft I toppled forward over those gigantic waves, the air rushing and buffeting me faster as I fell...

Then the alarm went off.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
After having watched the latest Dollhouse last night, I just wanted to record something which I noticed when watching the thirteenth episode, Epitaph One.

Almost everyone is aware that the basic premise for Dollhouse is taken from Gerry Anderson's Century 21 super-marionation series Joe 90 with appropriate updates to create an edgier and more modern story.

However Epitaph One owes a lot more to Frederick Pohl's 1964 novel A Plague of Pythons (also called Demon in the Skull). Though most blurbs for that novel imply some form of alien or demonic intelligence is responsible for people, including the lead character, being taken over by other intelligences and doing horrible things, which is what some of the characters in the novel think because the general public has no idea what's causing it, the final explanation is much closer to the situation in Epitaph One.

I'm not claiming that this is where Joss Whedon got the idea, but for fans of Epitaph One it might be interesting to see a similar concept rendered in a novel.

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