Here we go!
:: I would have thought that the price of a comic book increasing over 1000% over the past thirty years, or short-sighted decisions allowing comics to lose 99% of their retail outlets over that same time, or the increased emphasis on violence and gore, or bizarre editorial mandates to continually reboot their product might have had a heck of a lot more to do with downward sales. Nope, it's actually the fault of fans who care about the stories they're told. Mea culpa. (Interesting thoughts on the DC Comics reboot. I like that he mentions the "dream season" of Dallas. I was a fan of the show at the time, and boy, did it feel cheap. The worst aspect of it was that in the last four or five episodes of the "Dream Season", the writers had started a storyline that they'd intended to continue in the next season -- involving an old ranch hand coming to work at Southfork who may or may not have actually been Jock Ewing with a different face -- but since the season had been rendered a dream, that storyline was cut off. But the writers really really really liked that idea, so what did they do in the new, non-dream season? They started that same storyline over again, to the point of using the exact same actor as the old ranch hand who may or may not have been Jock Ewing with a new face. All they did was change the name of the character!)
:: And I did love it—even more than Ender’s Game. It has aliens and spaceships and an intelligent computer. It has distance between the stars measured not in kilometers but in years. It had the fascinating comparison of human, ramen, and varelse. I wish I still loved it, I really do. But you can’t unsee the man behind the curtain.
:: If fantasy and science fiction movies like 2001 and Lord of the Rings and Star Wars can feature classical music scores-some existing, like the Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra for 2001, or some created, like Howard Shore's gorgeous compositions for LOTR-then why is classical music missing in novels? This is the question that begins a lot of panels on the topic of music in speculative fiction.
:: Now of course, some of you will point out that Sam Raimi wasn’t making that movie for kids, that he was making a serious and mature Spider-Man film for grown-ups and I have no business showing it to a little kid and expecting her to be entertained…but before you do, take just one minute to think about the implications of trying to argue that kids should have no right to watch a Spider-Man movie and be entertained by it. Okay? Okay.
:: For someone who professes to disdain Internet writers, Richard Schickel is one hell of an effective troll.
:: Draped between the doorknob and the sink, blocking the door so it couldn’t open very far, was a diamond-patterned rope, like one of those very thick velvet ropes that blocks movie theater entrances. A rope? A slimy rope with scales? In my bathroom? What? No, it wasn’t a rope; it was...moving! My brain was trying to register what this thing was in my doorway. My hand was mere inches away from it, my fingers on one side of the door knob, his body wrapped around the other. It moved again. I was moving too. FAST. In the opposite direction. And screaming. LOUD.
:: I also had to smile about the fact that I am currently at war with dandelions in my lawn, yet one of the sweetest memories of my life is seeing my first born boy at about six months old grinning from his kingdom of dandelions many moons ago. (1975 to be exact!) In one case they were a beautiful field of precious yellow flowers. In another setting they are evil devil blooms I must eradicate.
:: But I find I do remember that melancholy little scene fairly often, usually when it's late at night -- as it is now -- and I starting thinking about the open road, with all the promises and disappointments it embodies. The American mythology, Kerouac's seductive road, along which you might reinvent yourself or find your true self. Or you might find nothing more than a lonely young man and a stray cat each hoping for a little company beneath the unearthly glare of a florescent light... (Posts like this are why I hope blogging never dies out completely.)
More next week!