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June 26, 2012

This is just a glorious thing where Abhay reviews Brian K Vaughn's Saga

Below is bulletpoint #3 of Abhay's review/endorsement of BKV's new comic series, Saga. But it's also Abhay doing his marvelous thing where he is also reviewing everything that is *not* Saga. Ten Things: SAGA | Savage Critics
Let’s stop a moment and note the context that these SAGA comics are being published in. Posit, for a moment, a fantasy world where you yourself live in a slave state. In this slave state, let’s say that… the freedom you receive from your “elected” governments is an illusion allowed to you by the moneyed interests that plainly control them, that the spiritual institutions one might flee to are themselves visibly bureaucracies long corrupted, that even your ability to perceive your enslavement has been eroded by underfunded education systems or for-profit university factories seemingly designed to chain enough debt onto young people to keep them in a state of permanent life-long servitude, that any true discussion of this is drowned in a noise machine whose colors and sounds you are helpless to admire– a slave state where the only true master, religion, God in heaven is the market, capitalism, the corporate. Just daydream that fantasy universe, if you can– maybe get some 20-sided dice, if that helps. Got in your head? Good. Okay. Now, quick: devise an escape route. [Come back when you've finished]. How’d you do? Add 5 points to your score if your escape route included nitroglycerine– that stuff’s pretty awesome. Except… Except: here’s the tricky part about all that escape route jive, which I left out, which is the conditions under which you are devising the escape route. In the slave state I described, do you even want an escape route? If your answer is yes, then understand that desire for an escape route is not special to you because, really, nothing that goes through your head, least of all your desires, is special to you. You’re part of this bigger organism of humanity– whatever you feel, however you hurt, it’s the same for everybody. And thus those feelings are only another lever. Industries orient themselves towards capitalizing upon that human longing, just as they do for any other human longing, and your desire to escape the market already long ago just became its own market of distractions, right? Before your parents were born, a market of spectacles. Loud music about “rebellion,” sold to you by old men with ponytails. Death stars being blown up by womp-rat-murdering teenagers, sold to you by chinless action-figure billionaires. Etc. And so, skip ahead to today, and we have the big corporate superhero film– multi-national conglomerates selling massive crowds on the Individual that can be unique, can triumph, can escape from even the laws of science themselves. Here comes the market’s latest round of the fucking Amazing Spider-Man product– already!– that tells the individual that he can be special, special so long as he remains poor and happy to stay poor and “responsible” to the Powered Moneyed Elite that rule over us, OR ELSE “CRIMINALS” WILL MURDER OUR FAMILIES, OH NOES UNCLE BENS. Here are millions spent on another “savior” product, another individuality product, really just another fear product– at least when Christians were the biggest business selling that shit, sometimes brown people living somewhere impoverished got themselves some fucking soup, but. And what of that escape route? What are you going to imagine one with? In what condition is your imagination after stories we tell one another, stories meant to communicate, communicate the essential, the transcendent, even the mundane, after those become indistinguishable or less than to the products of “franchises”– which like the product of any franchise is a product robbed of any nutrition. “This lump of shit is called a quarter pounder. This lump of shit is called Spiderman Beats Up an Old Men Angry About Being Mistreated by Deceitful Big Businesses. This lump of shit used to be Watchmen, once. Bon Appetit.” What good’s a little tiny old story in a world where goliath franchises stride the earth?

June 24, 2012

The Terrible Secret of the Were-Me

chainsawsuit by kris straub - the beast within

June 20, 2012

The Streets Tom Waits Grew Up On

YOU'RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK

June 04, 2012

This Modern World: How a Secret Memo Justifies a Kill List

Daily Kos: Schoolhouse Rock, the sequel

May 14, 2012

This accurately sums up my feelings about the work of China Mieville

I enjoyed Perdido Street Station and even more so The Scar, but The Iron Council permanently soured me on his writing. It was devoid of characters, of heart, of purpose. It was at best a rough draft thrown to the editors before its time. Fiction stillbirth. Un-Lun-Dun wasn't any better, a one-note gagfest that read like a blatant rip-off of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, but for kids. Dumb, dumb kids. Since then, every time I see he has won an award or is up for an award it makes me feel jaded and cynical about the entire awards process. (Okay, more cynical and jaded than I already am.) By all accounts Embassytown is a really great high-concept without distinct characters or story. Which is what he does. He's half-a-writer at best. Penny Arcade - The Verge

May 13, 2012

Marriage Equality Horror Stories!

The Strip | By Brian McFadden - Slide Show - NYTimes.com