:: This one's a bit depressing, but it really trips my weird circuit, in the way priorities are so misplaced
The G-8 nations are meeting in Northern Ireland, near the town of Enniskillen, and David Cameron wants to make certain everything looks rosy for the world leaders coming to discuss economic matters. Trouble is, Ireland has been hit hard ever since the bottom fell out of the financial market a few years back. A lot of shops have been abandoned; they sit empty, signs pulled down, naked storefront windows showing bare shelves… Well, we can’t have world leaders confronted with visible signs of the disaster they continue to enable — they might become concerned or even shift to non-stupid policies. So Cameron’s government has decided to make Enniskillen prettier. Those storefront windows have been papered over with photos of stuff that would be on sale if only the store was still solvent.
I do hope I live long enough to see what historians end up having to say about the austerity-fetish that's dominating economic policy across the world.
:: On a cheerier note, Cracked.com has a look at what they say is the greatest issue of Uncanny X-Men ever. Issue 137, you might think? The one that concludes the "Dark Phoenix" storyline? Or maybe #141, which starts the "Days of Future Past" tale? Nope! Their pick is...issue 183. In which Peter breaks up with Kitty and then gets dragged off by Wolverine for a stern lecture about heartbreaking.
What's funny is that back when I became a big comics fan in the early 1980s, the very first issue of Uncanny X-Men I ever read was that same #183. As intros go, it was a pretty easy way in: the only characters who display their powers are Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Rogue (in a brief Danger Room exercise). I hadn't read Secret Wars yet at that point, so I learned in the opening pages that there was this big thing that went on and it changed people on the way back. And it had all the soap opera stuff that was always the best thing about The X-Men -- I still remember one commentator back then referring to the book as "Dallas with capes". Anyway, it's pretty cool seeing something like this remembered almost thirty years later.
More next week!