Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Look at Glamorama

So the other day I finished reading a book called Glamoram by Brent Easton Ellis better known as "the guy who wrote American Psycho". I loved it as I love everything I've read by him but as an English magjor type person who writes essays for fun I find the book to be more than a little embarassing.  There are all sorts of things to play with but for the life of me I have no idea what to say about some of them.  For the rest of this post you are either going to have to of read the book or understand that I am just gonna sound like a crazy person for awhile.  So it will be like every other post.

Anyway it is an interesting book.  The biggest thing I am having trouble doing anything with is all the cold imagry.  So like....45% of the imagrey in the entire book I am clueless with awesome.  Part of the problem with this is that while I realized it was important almost immediatly I didn't bother to record any of its instances.  It also varies in severity and since it happens so often the best way to critically approach it would be to see where it is absent then back break from there to uncover some sort of coherent meaning behind it.  This is mostly because it is so prevelant, I also suspect that it means more than one thing depending on when it appears and how bad it is.  Victor seems to be the only person who notices the cold which is interesting because one of the standard rules for magical realism is that no one really notices that they are in a magically realistic setting.  Everyone else ignores the cold and goes along with it but Victor always sees and comments on it.  Since Victor ocillates from cripplingly clueless of hyper observant this presents an interesting picture.  Yeah this is definitely the right track.  There are lots of stuff that Victor just sort of interacts with like the film crews or even the smell of shit that prevades the last 3rd of the book but the cold is something that Victor almost always remarks upon and interacts with in some way.  I still don't know what to do with the cold itself.  Like I said I think I need to see where it is the most absent from the novel and then I will be able to get a decent picture of it.  The fact that is is SO present makes it a little bit difficult to get a proper handle on.

Interestingly I think the cold is mostly absent on the boat from New York to London.  I also know that there is one of the clubs with the ice scupltures where the cold actually belongs.  I am pretty sure that before that point the cold wasn't quite so intense.  However, the cold shows up all over the place so yeah this is a dead en but it is also frusterating because here is something that is so obviously meaningful and yet I can't cobble together a basic meaning out of it.  Every time I start to there is something else that comes along and contridicts it or something.  Unlike the shit smell that shows up when Victor ends up in Paris which is pretty transparent in terms of meaningfulness especially since it only really happened around Bobby or when Victor was doing something involving Bobby.

Other than the cold thing which really bugs me the book is rich in critical moments that I find wonderfully engaging and easy to work with, like the film crews.  I got the film crews hell I loved the idea of the film crews and Felix the cinematographer.  Felix is an interesting guy because at first he seems like he is on Victor's side especially when he's on the boat but then all of a sudden Victor's film crew looses interest in him as the French film crew starts playing a larger and larger role.  Not only that but Victor's crew doesn't know about the French crew even though the French crew knows about Victor's crew.  Then there is the case of the two Victor's at the end.  I love that.  My working thesis is that it is the crews that make Victor real they are what define him.  When Victor's original crew is murdered by Bobby and the French film crew I think this pretty much split Victor in two.  The original Victor is left trapped somewhere in France while the French film crew Victor goes back to New York gets his shit together and generally stops being such an embarrassing human being.  Be he doesn't turn into a better person.  He is still a philanderer and he's still incredibly empty on the inside.

Whereas the original Victor's first honest to god human moment is when he chases of the French film crew who was foricing a sad girl's scene to go on for to long.  He developed actual human emotions...mostly through trauma.  He was horrified when Felix died and he even felt guilty when his final French fellow was killed unlike the French film Victor which is very much an emotionally hollow form of redemption.  At first I thought the French film Victor was just one of Bobby's body doubles or just a case of mistaken identitey but then we were given a first person look on the inside of the French film Victor and he it became clear to me that he is so much more than that...hence the working thesis.

There are other things to play with to.  I mean the very idea of using fashion models to form a terrorist organization has SO MUCH POTENTIAL all over it there are all sorts of things I can do with it.  However, that's enough for now.  Fantastic book by the way go read it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gun Control vs Gun Culture part2

Look there's something that directly relates to what I was talking about.  I am not going to go to much into.  I think that even while the information is already public that publishing the names and addresses went a bit to far the reactions of the certain posters in particular, "Jeffersonian, a commenter at Sauce for the Goose, wrote “Nice house. Wooded lot, too. Lots of places to hide.” Syuck in NY. . . . For Now added “Lol. That was the 1st thing I thought of when viewing those pics of her palace!”"  Yeah reactions like that make me think that gun control is silly and that everyone should have one.  In fact those two people should have extra guns because they are clearly responciple adults. 

So now that I am no longer coming from left field I wish to address the issue of why deal with the stereotype instead of breaking the stereotype down and revealing the facts or something like that.  We have it drilled into our heads from an early age stereotyping is bad and that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover and blah blah blah but just how helpful is that?

It isn't very.  I am not saying that we should stereotype but rather once we do so we shouldn't take it as the gospel truth and fail to assimelate any new information about the individual.  It is like judging someone by your first impression of them for the rest of their lives instead of allowing for the fact that your first impression might of been hasty and you didn't have all the facts. 

Stereotypes exsist for a reason.  They are an approximation of an aggrate of data that is assimlated from a variety of sources ranging from various media, to interpersonal interaction.  For those of you with a theory fetish a stereotype is an excellent example of a rhizome.  If you don't get that right away don't worry about it.  1000 Plateaus gives me fits.  It is also, no matter how much we may not like it, the first way we encounter any sort of information about a sub culture:

"Oh so you play wow?"
"Oh so you play D&D"
"Go sit in the rain and listen to Morrisie"
"Frats are about paying for friends"
"Jocks are all dumb"
Everything most people think about gay people.
Black people like rap.

The list goes on.  The problem is that when all we know is the stereotype then all that's all we can base our assumptions on.  When we go back to guns and gun control we have an overwhelimgly negative view of both guns and there isn't a whole lot going on to change that view.  In fact it is almost like the NRA is doing everything in its power to make things worse.  Hell the NRA has the worst public relations I've ever seen.  What the hell is wrong with them?  We change the stereotype we change the conversation and it isn't as hard as everyone makes it out to be.  It is hard but if both sides makes an effort then it can work.  However, the gun owners have to go first.  They are the ones with the guns after all.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gun Control vs Gun Culture

So I've decided to spend my lunch writing.  I decided this awhile ago but now that I am here I am having trouble deciding on a topic.  I have the time for some of the more expansive things I'd like to write about so I am going to try one and see if it sticks.

Gun Control vs. Gun Culture

This is one of those things that are inexorably intertwined but they are still two separate things.  On top of this there is no real discussion as to the differences between gun control and gun culture and what exactly that means.  I'm gonna say right now that this prolly won't be definitive but hey at least it is a start. 

So where to start?  Well lets see what I got in the toy box.  We got class, historical revisionism, cultural misunderstandings, fear, powerful lobby groups, mass shootings, and looks like that's enough toys for now.  Lots of these toys connect to each other so lets play.

CLASS!  Class is one of those elephants in the room that no one seems particularly willing to talk about and yet it is there.  When we look at the steriotype of the gun owner we get a couple.  We have the rich white big game hunter.  We have the southern redneck.  We also have the inner city gang members.  Not bad but only one of them is well off aren't they?  Yes yes I know other people own guns but I said lets look at the steriotypes and that is what we are doing try to stay focused.  Guns in a lot of ways serve as a class divider.  It is the difference between people who feel they have to protect themselves and people who believe they have other people to do the protecting for them.  It is the difference between people who can afford the moderatly expensive hunting hobby and the people who can't.  Gun culture exists in all classes and yet we see gun ownership come most often in the hands of slightly crazed rednecks and gang members.  The wealthy game hunter is a distant third.  Hell the former serviceman is a distant 4th.  We talk about guns like how they don't kill people it is the people who do the shooting but in a lot of ways what we are really saying is "those people" are doing the shooting.  Offensive?  Don't care.  Take a look at the average age of a gang member now look at the number of inner city shooting deaths.  I mean we've had school age children shooting each others for years.  It is only when they decide to go mass murder and kill people who feel that they should have other people to protect them does panic start happening.  Class it is everywhere.

Historical Revisionism is one of those things that never ceases to amaze me.  This could also equally be called "wannabe constitutional scholarship".  Both sides throw around their ideas of the constitution and that's good.  That's great in fact do that!  The problem is that they do it with little to no historical relevance.  People don't understand how we got into this situation, where we came from, and there is a generalized lack of critical thinking going on which results in stale cyclical conversations that ultimatly lead no where.  The moment we bring history or the constitution into the mix is the moment the conversation dies because we just jump into this series of memes that we all memorized without really thinking about what they mean.  I've written before that gun culture needs an image change.  I'm gonna do it again in minute.  I think it is time to take the idea of the militia back and turn it into something healthy and not something for the lunatic fringe.  When people quote the second amendment it is always a revised version because no one wants to think about the militia part.  I do but hey that's me.

Cultural Misunderstands & Fear!  These two go hand in hand.  Okay so show a non curious non gun owner a gun and there is this weird freak out moment.  You'll get people who hold their hands up and go "I am just not comfortable around guns".  You'll get people who are all politely appalled about the idea of firearms and they beleive that...oh I dunno that someone else should have to do that dirty work (class!) or something like that I dunno.  This stems from ignorace.  It also stems from the fact that gun culture revels in the fear it generates.  The NRA's cold dead hand's speech is a perfect one.  We have Heston saying we will have to pry his gun out of his cold dead hands Waco Texas style because he won't give it up on his own.  Oh no and you gotta wonder is he just going to hold onto his gun or is he going to be using it while we are taking it from him?  Oh yeah.  It isn't offten we hear it outright.  It is always something like "I am going to take my second ammendment rights and come after you" or "We will rise up against the government" occupy wall street was also an uprising again the government but I think we are talking about different things.  Gun culture uses the fact that they have guns and everyone else is affraid of guns as leverage.  Then they cry foul when people talk about how worried they are about the fact that there is a whole sub culture of armed people who like to passively aggressively threaten everyone.

The fear cuts both ways though.  Holy shit gun culture are some paranoid fucks.  Like ermahgawd Obama got a second term and he's gonna take all of our guns away.  Then he'll take away Christianity and beer.  All through the election I kept hearing this out of conservative circles and it was based on...well nothing.   Obama hasn't made any real move to ban or talk about gun control and this is all after the shooting in Colorado.  Only now that we've had a second shooting is he stepping up to the conversation and geeze can you blame him?  Gun right's advocates live in a constant state of armed paranoia about the day when they will no longer be able to shoot their guns to the point where it is almost like they are hoping it will happen just so that they can have an excuse to use them.  Remeber I am not talking about individual gun owners but rather the culture they associate with.

Imma gonna skip the lobby groups and go straight to the mass shootings.  The only time gun control seriously comes up now and days is when someone shoots up a school.  What a lot of non gun owners don't understand is that when you are using a gun it is really easy to indiscriminatly kill a lot of people.  It is however very difficult to kill one specific person.  The story about two people standing 15 feet away firing full clips at each other and missing?  It happens.  That's the bitchy things about guns.  I fire a gun into a crowd I am going to get some impressive results but someone firing from the crowd at the user well that's more complex.  As a result we see a spree killing, we are faced with the horrible killing potential of these weapons and we think well gee gosh golly we should prolly not let everyone have one of these.  Gun culture ramps up its fear engines they talk about the need for protections (from them!), and that only bad people will have guns, and what about the women, and the nazis.  While on the other side we have a group of people whoes only real expereice with guns is the amount of devistation they cause. 

I wish there was more outreach on the behalf of gun culture.  I wish they would take a chill pill and ramp down the paranoia.  I wish we could change the image we have a gun users from rednecks and black people to something else.  Something postive perhaps?  However, this isn't going to happen until we start look at the situation we find ourselves in and we take an honest to god look at the facts and decide where we stand.  I myself am pro gun but I am anti gun culture.  The passive agressive threats, the paranoia, and taking advantage of the fear surrounding guns it all needs to stop.  Gun carry with them an awesome respocipiliby.  They allow you to take control of your fate.  You don't have to be a bystander anymore.  It is the ability to make a difference to protect those who need it.  Guns should never be about self defense.  They should always be about looking out for each other.  Or we can keep going the way we have been and let them all get banned.  At this point I am more with the mass banning myself because if you aren't willing to live up to that responcibility then what's the point you know? 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Freedom of Speach and God Hates Fags

I've written about the god hates fags people before.  Whenever I call them that people usually correct me to say, "Oh you me such and such church" and I nod my head and repeate, "The god hates fags people".  On the one hand I love them because they provide a shining argument as to why Christianity is a wuss ass religion.  On the other hand I hate them for all the reasons everyone in their right mind should hate them.  I don't hate many things.  Things make me angry like the derpy hooves controversy, french surrealists, and people who try to make me feel bad about liking tits but I don't hate very much.  I do hate the god hates fags people.

I call them that for a reason.  When they come up in conversation I don't want anyone to loose sight of the fact of just how ugly and horrible these people are.  But I didn't come here to write about everything everyone agrees on.  I've come here to explore the freedom of speech issue.

Freedom of speech is one of those things.  It has been awhile since we've had a good reason to roll up our sleeves and have a good old fasioned freedom of speech rumble.  First Amendment advocates have the same degree of suspicion and paranoia that pro gun people do.  They should exchange letters and be friends, hell their amendments are right next to each other!  I mean why not.

On the surface this is the nazis of Stokie...Illinoise?  I can't remember and I don't have time to look it up.  Anyway here it is the biggest ugliest "godly fag hating" group of people ever. 

So should they be labled as a hate group?  Yes absolutely.  If I were a constotutional scholar I might be able to wrangle out a for real leagalistic reason as to why they should be.  However, I'm not.  I don't even have enough time to watch all the Dr. Who I want.  The thing is though is that they don't just spew hate but they do everything in their power to dehumanize that which they dispise hence their MO for protesting funerals.  The dehumanization of the subjext is the most dangerous aspect of hatred as that opens up the doorway to violence.  Do we wait for another savage beating of a gay man or woman before we take action against the "god hates fags" people.  Or do we see their actions for the 100th time say enough is enough already and call them like they are?

This didn't have as much to do with speech as I would like but I am also out of time.

The Perks of Being a Background Pony

This post will more than likely have nothing to do with the my little pony show.  I just thought that was a really clever title and so there it goes.  Then again most of my titles have nothing to do with the post's contense so I don't feel bad. 

So the last time I posted I here I wrote a bit about being pulled in a lot of directions and not having time for some of the stuff I want to do.  So instead of just sitting around bitching on my blog and not doing anything useful I did something.  I started a war wall.  A war wall is the thing I should of done if I wanted my NaNoWriMo novel to turn out well.  I didn't so it is awful.  Still taking the bad example I made myself a good idea.  I took some wrapping paper, taped it to the wall, like I do, then I wrote down the 7 things I want to do more of, and set a goal so that every day I would try to write down something from the list onto the wall that I did.  That was nearly two weeks ago and so far it has been a pretty rousing success. 

Time management.  That is one of those things I am decent at but not spectacular.  There are after all LOTS of things I wanna do.  I mean I play minecraft, I am seeing GTA4 for the first time, Dr. Who, I hang out with people and play games, I LOVE watching movies, TOUHOU, and a billion other things.  Recently Dwarf Fortress has been calling out to me and I want to do that some more.  That's on top of all the 2 billion things I want to read.  So yeah even if I didn't have a job and I didn't waste a single second of my day on anything I still wouldn't have time to do everything I want.  However, I'd much rather live this way than be bored.  I quite frankly don't understand boredom but hey people are a unique and special mystery to me.

Going back to the war wall thus far I'm liking the results.  I wrote up a location for SLA, a couple of blog posts, started streaching more, lots of reading, but I did only manage to work on my game once.  That's a little disappointing.  However it is a 100% more than I've worked on it in quite some time so hey that's definitely something it also was a very productive session.  I might do some more on it tonight, if not then definitely tomorrow along with some seriouse painting sessions.  I need to run out to Michael's and get more of the paint I like though so that's on the list of things to do.  So far it is going well.  Things like this always go well at first so we'll see how this will look a couple of months from now.  I've tried different versions of this before and each time to no avail more or less.  I always stall out somewhere after the first month.

Ironically the same thing happened with the hero game.  I more or less got it to a point where I could start doing rough alpha tests of the rules to see how I liked it and to make sure that things were working the way I wanted them to.  That required some chores and I actually did quite a few of them before it all stalled out and nothing came of it.  How frusterating.  I knew it would happen and I did a bunch to stop it but it still happened :(.  I've been pretty annoyed with myself for quite awhile now but like I said eariler I decided to stop bitching on the blog and get back to it.  The crazy thing is that I like doing it.  Like I really like it.  It is something I enjoy doing very much but I end up just doing something else.  The biggest different between this version of the wall and my previous efforts is that this is all stuff I want to do versus things I think I should do or whatnot.  Thus far it has helped me transistion between one activity and the next much smoother which is something I always had trouble with so that's nice.

If nothing else then I have a bunch of neat stuff for me to use later on.  So cheers for that then!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pretty Little things on their way to hell

    Yesterday I was watching a lecture on the eastern intelectual tradition and at lecture 16 it finally got around to Japanese.  This series has SO MUCH STUFF IN IT.  The lecture talked about three thinkers but the two that stuck with me was the woman who wrote the story of Genji and the woman who wrote The Pillow Book.  These books propose two opposing ideas of aethetics to each other.  Genji is more of a long term love of the world, it is taking it all in and understanding and accepting that all things must come to an end, so it definitely has some buddist influences.  The Pillow Book is more fascinated with minutiae it is full of lists, small thoughts, essentially the little things in life.  The idea behind the pillow book is that it is something you jot down thoughts in just before going to bed or just after waking up whereas the story of Genji is a grand swooping narrative that takes place over 70 years and has like over 50 major characters or something ridiculous like that. 

To make a contemporary comparison it is like comparing the world views of Cloud Atlas and Amilie…yeah okay so maybe a French film and a movie that isn’t even on dvd yet aren’t the best choices but hey if you’ve seen both of these movies then it works out for you.  Magnolia would be a good stand in for Cloud Atlas as for a stand in to Amilie… yeah I dunno American Beauty would work pretty well.  Actually American Beauty works in both ways but I can do this all day and get no where so lets move on. 

Aesthetics is one of my favorite things and it is something that I am deeply connected to in both how I live my life and my various outlooks on life and yet for some reason my appreciation of the tiny things in life seems to have taken not so much of a back seat but rather it is in my subconscious rather than conscious.  I still love tiny things in life like certain tactile sensations, food of all sorts, tiny conversations I have with people, and in general all sorts of little things.  I’ll make a list in a little bit.  I think the question I have is do I appreciate them less by not acknowledging them in any sort of formal way ie a blog post like this or my own pillow book?  Do I end up missing out on certain things?

Lets take for example one of my favorite things.  We have these shaffers that have curled metal feet on them.  Terrible idea really they slide all over the place, not the point though.  What I love to do is to run my index finger along the inside of the curled feet.  I love how cold the metal is, and it isn’t perfectly smooth like stainless steel but its treated so that it has this nice subtle texture to it.  I could run my finger along it for far longer than most people would consider normal but whatever it feels nice.  I like to stop and appreciate beautiful sunsets and I love the way a handful of d12’s feel. Yes d12’s to you they are the bastard dice to me they are amazing.  Oh I also love frosted dice those things are the best. 

However, I don’t usually run around extolling the virtues of all these little things because I am usually busy engaging in them.  I mean why write about how amazing that first taste of strawberry ice cream is when you can go do it.  I mean I can do this right now.  Appreciation is the question.

I think that is one of the biggest challenges to having an ascthetic that is rooted in minutae rather than the grand swooping narrative of life.  There is always something that can be marvelous.  I can always indulge myself and I do so frequently.  I eat my double stuffed oreo cookies because I love them, I eat inappropriate things like bananas where ever and whenever I want, I love my music.  However, I think when my love isn’t tempered by reflection I find that I end up not necessarily missing some things but, shit I don’t know.  Ultimatley I think the reflection ends up being one of the little things that I just enjoy doing.  I don’t enjoy them any more or less because I stop to think and reflect upon them.  The small things are after all ultimately fleeting.  You can’t keep a sunset forever no matter how hard you want to and every smile is unique because the context is just as important as the facial expression itself.  Little things are little, they get lost, shuffled around, and it takes a little bit of practice to find them.  They may not be always there in the same spot but I’ve found that once I start looking it is everywhere I go.
    So how does this translate into the grand swooping narrative of life?  Well it doesn’t.  They are at polar opposites of each other though that doesn’t mean they are necessarily at odds.  They are just different.  If there is any better example of “your kink is not my kink” it is right here.  When people ask me what Cloud Atlas is about I usually end up shouting is its about “Love and infinity” because yeah that’s a pretty damn good three word summary.  Life’s swooping narrative sounds exciting it is the realm of love after all.  Not the cute little crush love but the massive life long 40 year married and we still like each other love.  It is the place where the daily ebb and flow of everyday life intermingle into this one majestic tapestry that is our lives and it is up to us to make it as amazing as possible because the world is a shitty place and it won’t do fuck all to help us.  Okay so maybe that last part may seem like a bummer but it is true.  It is up to us to make things grand.  It is taking life and making the most of it as possible for as long as possible.  It is standing in proud defiance in full view of death, destruction, and petty human drama and remaining as resilient as possible.  It is love not necessarily between a group of people but for everything no matter how ridiculous it is.  It is acknowledging the near impossibility of this message and not giving a god damn because that is the only way to make headway. 

I think a lot of people have lost their sense of aethetics both on the micro and macro level.  I think it is what tends to make us small minded and mean.  That isn’t the only thing but it certainly helps.  I think the biggest, best trick is to maintain a balance between the two.  To both see the narrative and the small pretty things.  It is strange.  It is also something we don’t really talk about any more.  Not in any serious level.  It didn’t use to be this way discussions of the sublime and how to appeciate art used to be common place and held an honorary part in literarly theoretical discussion.  I think it is a fascinating topic though but I will admit that there is nothing more individual than the way a person processes what they like which is why most conversations on the topic fail to bear any fruit. 

Anyway my lunch is over and I’m pretty much done here so TA!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Random Chunk of Comics Blog

Hello there.  It has been a while since I’ve updated this here blog but I am hoping to change all that.  Every year after NaNoWriMo I pledge to write more and blah blah blah and I never seem to manage to do so.  All of that momentum gets converted into excuses and then I end up just not doing it.  Instead I get wrapped up in 20 billion different things I want to do and I end up dabbling in about a dozen different things but sticking to none of them.  For example currently:

I want to work on my game again I am coming back to it with freshness and vigor
I want to finish painting my tomorrow’s war stuff
Play more Mage Wars/Netrunner/Malifaux
Play/Beat a JRPG current I want to do FF4 again but there are other contenders, Chrono Trigger is looking awefully nice
I did want to finish The Honerable School Boy but I just did that previous to writing this.  Now I want to start a new book
Dr. Who.
Figure out how to work a Yoga routine into my schedual

…you know now that it is in a list like that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming does it?  I mean some of those things are pretty easy to accomplish others aren’t so bad.  Some of them definitely fall in on the leisure time side of things, and a few of them can be done on portable media.  So it looks like  I need to set up a war wall.  This is something I did for my first couple of NaNoWriMo books and it is something I very much needed to do for my last book to keep my on track…but I didn’t.  I will do that when I am done here.  The idea is to type at least 1500 words.  Right now I am going to let my mind wander and see what comes out of it.  I just started there and poof I came up with all sorts of solutions and I feel better about the stuff I both need to and want to do.  Break lists into sub lists and take things both on and down until I win great victory.  Life doesn’t have to be a mess.

So I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently.  I just reread all 9 volumes of Preacher finished the last 200 pages of Honorable Schoolboy, all the new 52 Green Lantern stuff, and the new 52 Superman trade.  I’ll admit I wasn’t taken by the Superman trade the first time I read it.  I wanted more All-Star ultra mythic superman and not Superman year one.  Upon rereading though I got over my case of the grumpies and I grew to love it dearly.  Holy crap that’s a good book.  I think the mythic stuff is coming.  It’s interesting, right now in both of the big two we are seeing a changing of the guard.  On the Marvel side Jason Aaron and Hickman are taking over.  On the Dc side it is Lemire and Synder.  All of them, cept for Hickman got their start with Vertigo.  Just sayin.  Anyway it is nice. 

    I kinda wish they still had Grant Morrison working on three or four books at the same time but right now it is just Superman and Batman Inc and that’s coming to an end.  Soon Morrion’s multi year Batman Arc will come to a close and what a massively amazing good time it was.  It is kinda astounding that they would let one writer have so much freedom with such an iconic character.  Over the course of Morrison’s Batman run we got, Batman’s son Damian, a reason behind the Joker’s madness, Batman being pushed past the boundaries of sanity, Batman being lost in time, Nightwing becoming Batman, and Bruce Wayne setting up a “bat franchise”.  The whole thing is massive, fun and you can see its reverberations in the other bat family books.  I think they will be around for years to come.  Just like his run on the X-men.  A lot of people criticise marvel because immediately after Morrison left the X-books they started undoring what he did, Magneto came back, the Stepford Cuckoos were given a stupid origin, and yet some of the stuff he did stuck.  Jene Grey is to the best of my knowledge still dead.  Cyclopse and the White Queen have stayed together forever, and the whole dynamic is just a little bit different.  I still don’t have the time, patients, or  desire to get into the x-books even if Jason Aaron and Bendis are writing them.  There is to much background mythology stuff that I just can’t bother with.  That being said I do mean to give the Avengers vs. X-men a read.

Speaking of which its funny.  Ten years later comic fans are still wringing their hands like children over the Marvel civil war.  I personally think it was a brilliant event.  It brought me back into reading Marvel comics and as soon as the Dark Reign was over with I lost interest.  For just a few minutes the Marvel universe had this fascinating, sweeping, narrative that has such an important and interesting message.  Of course no one could be bothered to see it for what it was.  They were to busy wanking their favorite character to see the bigger picture, bunch of crap.  Anyway the whole thing ended with Siege and once again the Marvel universe became books about people hitting each other and interpersonal drama. 

Now we have the Avengers vs. X-men arc and hey it seems like it is pretty much the civil war all over again doesn’t it?  But since it’s the dark phoenix returning and not super hero registration and the moral ambiguity surrounding that whole issue I guess it is easier for people to get their heads around or something.  I dunno it all seems like a bunch of crap to me.  I’ll give it a read sometime soon so then my moral judgement will have some weight behind it.

A lot of people seem to be shitting all over DC and it’s new 52 but I really bloody like it.  Instead of having one big fuck off universe they broke all the books up into little familys.  There is the bat family and all those books are interconnected.  There is the Aninmal Man/Swamp Thing books and they are basically, at this point, one book.  The superman family and the green lantern family both stand on their own and the green lantern books in particular are a hell of a lot of fun.  Before the new 52 they were getting to be a little bit to ridiculously grim.  At any rate I like this approach.  The writing across the line is pretty uneven but hey Marvel has its stinkers too and what I like of the new 52 I really REALLY like. 

So there’s that then.  There are so many comics I want to buy right now that its pretty mindboggling.  In particular I need the last two volumes of  Scalped, the last volume of Sweet Tooth and the next Delux hard back edition of 100 Bullets.  On the one hand I am furious that I have to replace 100 bullets.  On the other hand I am getting nice deluxe hard back copies which is nice.  Some of the bindings on my 100 bullets trades weren’t the best and it is one of those things I will never get tired of rereading.  In fact I haven’t even cracked open my first two volumes because I know once I start reading them I will go ape shit unless I can read the whole thing.  If they do the same thing for Preacher I might sell my old trades to finance the purchase of the deluxe books.  That would be snazzy.  Preacher is one of those things that deserves a deluxe treatment.

I still think Preacher is Ennis’s best work.  His run on the Punisher is great.  The stuff he’s written for Crossed is the best stuff written for Crossed by a mile and some of the best survival horror I’ve seen this side of Walking Dead.  But somewhere during The Boys he just kinda lost it.  Ennis loves to subvert tropes I get that.  He did it with glee in Preacher and he did it with grace in the Punisher but somewhere during The Boys he just got lost in what he was doing.  I own the first 4 volumes and I read the rest.  It is good.  It does that thing where he goes and explains everyone’s origin story.  I fucking love that it is one of my favorite things about Preacher and yet The Boys just doesn’t have the same heart and soul and without the heart and soul the over the top fuckedupery just doesn’t hold any salt with me.  Preacher?  That’s a different story.  Every time I reread Preacher I feel like I am a better person.  I don’t always agree with everything I read but I like it.  I like the idea of living with honor and conviction.  I like the idea of being good because there is just to much bad in the world.  I like the idea of owning up to your failures and learning.  We see Jesse Custer grow and change over the course of those books in such a way that we don’t usually get to see in fiction.  Preacher is long, and every issue is jam packed with text.  We see Jesse try, fail, try harder, get shafted, he literally goes and tries to figure things out for nearly half a year before getting back on course.  He feels like person.  Not just any person but a good one.  His flaws are not his limitations.  They are something for him to overcome so that he can be a better person.  It is just that simple.  I love those books and I can’t imagine reading them in any way other than a whole unit. 

Alright well I have a war wall to set up and on a whim I bought GTA 4 and I am really enjoying it so I might do that some more.  Bye kids!