Archive for August, 2012

27
Aug
12

Watching Isaac

You may have heard, there’s a Tropical Storm a-spinnin’ out there in the Gulf of Mexico. It may be a hurricane by the time you read this, I’m not sure. Whatever it is, it looks pretty likely that it’ll hit the Gulf Coast.

Of course, meteorology being what it is, it’s all still guesswork exactly where it will hit, but most tracks place us here in the New Orleans area in the path or on the outskirts. Now, for those of you who live on the coast, you know how this goes, you know what to do. You don’t need my words of encouragement.

But for those of you in the rest of the country who don’t have much of a perception of hurricane season outside of Hurricane Katrina, let me try to put your mind at ease a bit. Most of us down here know what we’re doing. We grew up here, we’ve dealt with this all of our lives. We know when to get out and when to ride it out. For a lot of us that decision won’t be made until the tracking maps come out in the morning, but that’s okay. We have time. And who knows, by the time I get up the latest maps may have it going somewhere else entirely

I feel like I’m rambling a bit here, so I’m just going to say, simply, my point: We’re cautious. We’re careful. But we’re not freaking out and we’re not going to panic, and no matter what those sensationalistic lunkheads that call themselves reporters are putting on your television, we don’t want you to freak out or panic either. We take it seriously, but that doesn’t mean we lose our heads.

I’m going to watch the news, talk to my family and friends, and try to live with Saint Walker’s philosophy: All will be well.

(It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t work in a little nerdity before the end of the post.)

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23
Aug
12

What I’m Reading: Fahrenheit 451

With the sad death of the great Ray Bradbury earlier this year, I decided to reread some of his works that I haven’t read in a while, beginning with the classic science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451. For those of you who haven’t read it… first, shame on you. Second, it’s about a future where people have grown intellectually soft, subsisting on brainless television programs and avoiding books and other intellectual pursuits until, finally, books are actually banned and firemen are repurposed to burn homes where books are being kept rather than extinguishing fires.

I’m certainly not arrogant enough to review this book, but I will discuss it. The book is often called as a commentary on censorship, although Bradbury himself denied that was his intention, saying instead he was trying to make a point about people allowing themselves to be absorbed by television. Reading the book now, for the first time in many years, I think it’s easy to see the intent here. The wife of Guy Montag, our protagonist, is where the most potent criticism comes. She spends all her time lost in a world where three of her walls are televisions and she laments the fact that the fourth isn’t yet. She thinks of TV characters as “family,” and she and her friends casually discuss people’s deaths, divorces, suicides, and think of their children as disposable creatures, no more important than the “family” that appears on the screens when they want them and go away when they’re done.

The thing that really gets to me, more than ever, is just how prescient this book is. The implication is that when people turn away from intellectual pursuits, they lose their perspective and compassion for other creatures. And I see that. When I look at students who steadfastly refuse to read a book, I’m not surprised to see those same students in trouble for disrespect, profanity, fighting, and generally displaying a lack of respect or concern for other people. (I don’t just mean kids who don’t like reading here, I mean the ones who fight it as though it will do them physical harm. Yes, they exist.)

Bradbury paints a picture of a world where books are abandoned and, when they’re finally banned, the Firemen are basically there to clean up the last few stragglers, a place where newspapers die out and nobody cares. And then there was one last thing I read today that chilled my blood, the most terrifying prophecy of all. From Faber, Montag’s friend who helps him find his way to a different path:

“And then the Government, seeing how advantageous it was to have people reading only about passionate lips and the fist in the stomach, circled the situation with your fire-eaters.”

“Passionate lips and the fist in the stomach.”

That’s right, people. Way back in 1951, Bradbury predicted 50 Shades of Grey.

Terrifying.

22
Aug
12

Giving it a Try…

Hey, guys. I know I haven’t posted much here lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I’ve got a new project I’m rather excited about, and I’m hoping to tell you about in soon. In the meantime, have you seen this weirdo “Laird McD,” on Twitter? Man, what’s up with that?

It is Wednesday, of course, which means I’ve got an EBI too. You may have heard DC’s big announcement today about a couple of members of the Justice League. I thought this week I’d share my thoughts about it…

EBI #458: Giving it a Try

15
Aug
12

Everything But Imaginary #457: The Impact of Kubert

Sunday, the great Joe Kubert passed away, and even though the characters he’s known for and the books he worked on aren’t among my personal favorites, the loss hit me in a big way. Say what you will about Kirby, Eisner, and the other greats — for my money, nobody did as much for the future of comics as Joe Kubert.

Everything But Imaginary #457: The Impact of Kubert

05
Aug
12

2 in 1 Showcase at the Movies Episode 31: Total Recall

In this week’s “At the Movies” episode, Blake and Kenny take in the new remake of the sci-fi classic Total Recall. How does it stack up against the Schwarzenegger original? Is it worth seeing? In the picks, Blake surprises himself and everyone else by picking Avengers Vs. X-Men #9. Don’t forget to send in your top ten favorite time travel stories for our next top ten episode! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

At the Movies Episode 31: Total Recall

 

01
Aug
12

Everything But Imaginary #456: How to Fit Comics in Class

With the school year approaching ever so fast, I find myself thinking about my lessons, my curriculum, and the pieces of literature I’m going to use to teach my students. And as I often do, I find myself thinking of the ways I would work in graphic novels if I could.

Everything But Imaginary #456: How to Fit Comics in Class




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