Monday, January 7, 2013

Awesome People Who Died in 2012

First post in 2013! Thank the Lord for another year!

I think a fitting way to celebrate is to first remember the people who we've left behind in the past year. Following are a few awesome people that I'm sure will be greatly missed.

Andy Griffith (June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012). The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock star, beloved by so many, Griffith could always make you smile, whether with his brilliant humor, or his heartwarming honesty.

Ernest Borgnine (January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012). Borgnine is best known as the eponymous character in McHale's Navy, as well as the voice of Mermaid Man from Spongebob Squarepants. Both roles have brought me much joy.

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012). Bradbury was an influential science-fiction writer, as well as lifelong friend of one of my idols, Ray Harryhausen.

Maurice Sendak (June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012). Writer and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are, beloved by thousands.

Neil Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012). American astronaut, and first person to walk on the moon.

Additional greats: Richard Dawson (1932 – 2012), Phyllis Diller (1917 – 2012), Sally Ride (1951 – 2012), Don Grady (1944 – 2012), Earl Scruggs (1924 – 2012), Jan Berenstain (1923 – 2012), and Bruno Giacometti (1907 – 2012). Special mentions go to Sid Couchey (1919 – 2012), Tony DeZuniga (1932 – 2012), and Marc Swayze (1913 – 2012), comic book artists, Joan Taylor (1929 – 2012), for being in, not one, but two Harryhausen movies, and Jack Klugman (1922 – 2012), for being in no less than four Twilight Zone episodes.

May God bless all those who have died this past year.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

James Fenimore Cooper Bio Essay Video

So here it is, the product of much sweat and blood…I think the video and the description say all you need to know, so lets get on with the show!

Friday, November 16, 2012

What About the Justice League Movie??

After a series of starts and stops beginning five years ago (which you can read about here), it seems Warner Bros. has settled on a 2015 release date for the Justice League movie, just in time to rival Marvel's The Avengers 2. Whether the date will be pushed once more is yet to be seen. The cast for the movie chosen in 2007 met with fan disapproval, and has since, of course, been dropped. Henry Cavill will be taking up the mantle of Superman for June 14th, 2013's Man of Steel (see the teaser and costume pics); all other roles, as well as that of the Big Black Bat himself are up in the air. Whether Batman will be rebooted before a Justice League movie, or brought directly in as an already-familiar character is under discussion. (**TDKR SPOILERS**) Joseph Gordon-Levitt (playing Robert Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, scheduled for wide release tomorrow), who appeared to be taking over for Bats at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, says, concerning a possibility of him appearing in Justice League:
"if the script inspires me and if there's a filmmaker that I respect and connect to...I'd consider anything."
After all the excitement Marvel has been causing, it makes sense that DC would want to get in on some of the action. After the overall mediocrity of last year's Green Lantern, though, I wonder if they will ever truly catch up. I'm excited to see, for better or for worse, some of these characters up on the big screen, and I truly hope they manage to pull it off well.

Though, call me partisan, I can't help but hope as well that, altogether, Marvel will continue to produce better work than DC.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Some Excellent Commentary on "The Avengers"

 Mick Martin writes a very smart article describing "The Top 10 Worst and Best Things About 'The Avengers'". Probably the most interesting and haunting section is the number one con, entitled "Jack Kirby's heirs didn't see a dime from The Avengers". The sorely missed Jack "King" Kirby, along with Stan Lee, created and wrote the original Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and the Mighty Thor comics, as well as the Avengers and others. Kirby, of course, was also the illustrator of these comics, his work being positively immortal. But his descendants did not profit from the movie at all.

Quoth Martin:
Jack Kirby made it difficult for me to see The Avengers.
After Marvel won its legal battle against Jack Kirby’s heirs in July 2011, a number of noteworthy comic book bloggers and critics vowed to give none of their money or attention to Marvel products – including the films – until Marvel made things right with Kirby’s estate.
After my first viewing of Avengers, because of course it’s legally mandated I do so, I immediately went on Facebook to spread my geek-joy. A lot of comments from friends followed, and among them was a professional writer who wrote deep in the thread, “I have so far resisted saying that I hope you enjoy dancing on Jack Kirby’s grave and making the soul-less corporations rich.” I was not very happy with her, but she wasn’t wrong.
I am not proud that I did not side with Kirby. My voice wouldn’t have put a dent in Marvel’s armor, but that’s hardly the point. The guy helped to create the characters that littered the landscape of my childhood dreams, and I see my lack of support towards his heirs’ cause as a genuine failure.
It is stupidly melodramatic, but when I try to come up with an analogy justifying my love for the film, the money I spent to see it in the theater, the money I will spend again on the DVDs, and the fact that I am helping promote it; I think of Rusty Sabich cleaning the blood and hair off the hammer his wife used to kill his lover in Presumed Innocent. I almost can’t help it. I can, but I almost can’t. I fell in love with it, so I’m willing to do wrong to have it.
The whole article is excellent, and is great reading for anyone who enjoyed "The Avengers".

And for anyone already anticipating May 1st, 2015's "The Avengers 2", here's a rundown on just who may or may not be making an appearance in it. Why Black Widow isn't there, I do not know, but I would also like to add Ms. Marvel as a possibility, as well as (hopefully!!) at least a hint at the Vision. I still think Namor is a loooong way off though…

Also the villain has been confirmed as Thanos, who we saw in the mid-end credits sequence of "The Avengers". I have high hopes for this film, as well as a plethora of others planned before and after. But more on that later…

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best Geeky Costumes 2012

In honor of Halloween, a little gallery of people who really went out of their way to be geeky this year…

Which is your favorite costume? Sound off below!


I have recently lapsed into a series of non-geeky posts (though very fun), which have caused me to not notice THIS:

Phase Two begins. For reals, folks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some Thoughts On Feminism…

This from my last DBQ follow-up…
I chose to read the link on Judith Sargent Murray, a radical feminist of the 18th century. The article mentions some of Murray's at-the-time radical ideas, which are now more or less taken for granted, mostly having to do with the psychological and mental equality between men and women. She was an advocate of equal education, and of the breaking down of unjust cultural restrictions. 
Feminism is always a touchy subject, one which has seen a great amount of evolution in the last few hundred years of history. I think the best way the argument for feminism can be put forward is as, not one of radical subversions of social constructions, but one of common sense. Take this quote from the article as an example: "many people also held the belief that women were incapable of logic and that mental exercise harmed their physical ability to bear children". Here, male society is literally treating women as a subspecies. This may be the work of the corruption of ancient gender roles, but primarily it is caused by a lack of common sense. When all can realize that women and men were created equal, it seems, then sense will be restored to civilization. 
But that's where the difficulty comes in. As I've said before, we humans don't like to settle for any less than the extremes. And the extreme of feminism, as well as many other doctrines, has been playing out in modern history with disturbing results. You see, people often mistake equal for the same. But as any child could tell you, men and women are far from the same. In fact, it is our very differences that make us the most of who we are. Equality without difference is like…well, it's like nothing at all. Imagine a world full of seven billion clones of the same person…sure they're equal, but they've lost any reason to want to be equal. No difference, no need. What I'm trying to say is that, the search for equality isn't about trying to erase all differences, but about seeking the liberty to effectively incorporate your differences into the organism that is the human race. Another example: imagine your hands and feet needing to work together as equals–if they didn't, your body would be uncoordinated and ineffective. But imagine if your hands and feet were to erase their differences–you'd have to walk on a pair hands, or hold a glass with a pair of feet. 
One more point I would like to make is about the concluding quote of the article: "grant that their minds are by nature equal, yet who shall wonder at the apparent superiority, if indeed custom becomes second nature." I had never stopped to think about where the term "second nature" comes from, but now it makes sense–something repeated enough that it seems the natural thing to do; an environmental adaption masquerading as a second set of genes. This seems to be what history has led us to…the belief that, if repeated enough times, anything is natural. Men two hundred years ago used this belief against women, and had been using it for centuries before… But have things changed so much? In a culture where a third of the population is murdered before it sees the light of day, can we say we have accepted the natural order of things? Throughout history we always seem to find a way to mess with our identities, as well as those of our fellow humans…we need to watch out what we make second nature.