27 March 2016

Link round-up for 27 March 2016

Hey, it's Easter!

A cop meets three physicists.

Two cats find a container.

The Smithsonian responds to a startling anthropological discoveryUpdateComrade Misfit notes that this isn't real -- but it's still funny.

This Bernie supporter is a real American.

The Batman vs. Superman fiasco is just one example of how superhero crossovers don't work.

How do these ridiculous prigs ever hope to survive in the real world?

This SF writer sounds worth checking out.

Here's some advice on dealing with autoplay videos.

Some people keep pretty busy.

Trumpolines don't mix well with others.

Georgia's new anti-gay law continues to provoke a growing backlash.   Attempted redboard commentary quickly devolves into the usual blather about Jews, Odin, etc.  North Carolina has passed an even more mean-spirited bill.

Faye Kane speaks truth to capitalism.

Is ambulance service really this bad?

A week ago it was Nowr├╗z (Persian new year), and Obama once again took stock of our relations with Iran.

A fellow victim should not have to apologize.

A German extremist gets some unexpected help (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

When the ultra-religious are allowed to live by their own rules, innocent people suffer.

Never forget the reality of Cuba.  Did you hear about this?

The Republican convention could get even more exciting.

Hillary's no warmonger.

A National Review writer laments impending doom, while Douthat reports the Republican leadership paralyzed with fear and denial in the face of Trump.  Here's how US politics might evolve after the Republican party is gone.  Don't mourn the party, they're all disgusting.

Forget Cruzin4chicks, here are the real scandals.

No, Trump won't change his act for the general election, and no, he can't win by sweeping the Midwest.

Republican third-candidate hopes are empty fantasy.  Maybe they don't understand how the Electoral College works.


Blogger Paul W said...

thank you Infidel for the link!

as for the comic book crossover movies, the MCU is showing how it can work (by keeping an eye on both the over-arching plot as well as letting each major character room to breathe in their own series). The problem with the DC Comics film producers is that they're 1) playing catchup to Marvel to where they're forcing the issue, and 2) relying on a decades-old project (Batman v Superman) that wasn't designed to be the start of a multi-hero series, as a result they had to cram in odd plot points in the form of dream sequences to set up the Darkseid / New Gods background that will form the DCU plotline.

As for the movie itself, it was good (just not great) as entertainment and had its positives (there's a reason why moviegoers ARE watching it and it's more than just the promise of an epic battle between heroes). Also, Gal Gadot does a great job as Wonder Woman and the way they established her character makes the upcoming Wonder Woman prequel more of a must-see.

The biggest weakness of BvS was its dour mood. It really is a humorless piece of work (there was one honest-to-Gods joke in the whole thing, and no it wasn't anything Luthor said). One of the great strengths of the Marvel movies have been their willingness to allow humor - the occasional absurdity of having guys with hammers battle aliens - into the movies to make those movies FUN. The biggest reason Deadpool became a $250 million hit was the out-and-out black comedy of the entire movie: It was FUN to watch. Compare/contrast to the flops like the FF reboot, which were filmed as "serious" works and ended up joyless wrecks.

27 March, 2016 06:56  
Blogger Comrade Misfit said...

Sadly, the Smithsonian letter isn't true.

It's still funny.

27 March, 2016 08:10  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Paul: In all honesty I'm not familiar with most of those continuities -- everybody knows about Batman and Superman, I guess. I thought Evanier's points were interesting, and the film industry has a tendency to over-exploit hot properties by messing with them in ways that destroy the meaning of the original, Alien 3 and the laborious dragging out of Star Wars being examples*. And I wish they'd more often take a chance on something completely new rather than reworking existing franchises so much. I guess these things boil down to personal taste, though.

[*I don't include things like fanart and shipping in this criticism, of course. Being non-canonical it doesn't disturb the meaning of the original works, and it's often more imaginative than what Hollywood comes up with.]

Comrade: Drat. Well, Smithsonian should lay claim to it anyway. It makes them look very cool.

27 March, 2016 08:36  
Blogger okjimm said...

ok...late with this....but I thought I would share my favorite Easter joke.

Why did Jesus cross the road?
He was nailed to a chicken.

28 March, 2016 03:54  
Anonymous NickM said...

The Georgia anti-gay thing amazes me. I know Atlanta quite well and it always struck me as a very gay friendly place because as my then gf (Atlantan) said other than New Orleans it was the gay metropolis of The South. In many respects similar to Manchester in England. You don't want to be gay in Bradford. You don't want to be in Bradford.

Now I don't believe that performing gay civil partnerships/marriages ought to be forced on pastors who are anti them but there is the question of why anyone would want such a person to conduct the ceremony. I am am married (to a woman). This happened in Manchester Registry Office (English registry office weddings are extremely secular - suited me). The celebrant was a black woman (she was very good) and this is the sort of thing - obviously - to drive some nutters up the wall. That was nearly ten years ago. Looks like it is working out better than the marital record of a certain Donald Trump!

But... I would not have felt happy getting married in a context that was homophobic even though it was a heterosexual marriage. What I'm saying is it is not about law. It is about individual boycott.

When I lived in the East End of London I once bought a Coke and a packet of cigs from an "Old Skool" newsagent. The woman in front of me didn't buy her usual cigs (she'd bought them earlier) and the Alf Garnet behind the counter came out, "Well, Doris, I hope you bought them from a white man's shop. Never went there again.

My point is about soft power. You shall never legislate bigotry out of existence but you can hit it in the wallet which is one of the most painful places to get hit. The more people don't put up with stuff (even if it is not directly against them) the less this happens and if this means places go bust then so be it. I will avoid trade with bigots - alas you can't always spot them ahead of time. Not always but often enough ;-)

30 March, 2016 03:23  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Okjimm: With Thor's hammer, no doubt.

Nick: Atlanta is the everything metropolis of the South, but it's not the whole state of Georgia. We had a comparable situation here in Oregon in 2004, when Multnomah county (basically Portland) started allowing gay marriage, but it was voted down and stopped in a statewide referendum. Rural areas are almost always a lot more conservative.

No one has ever suggested that clergy should be required to perform marriages they object to -- gay, interracial, between members of different religions, or whatever. This is just a bogeyman made up by the wingnuts to scare their religious contingent into line. It's civil businesses open to the general public that aren't allowed to discriminate.

Soft power has worked well so far. In the context of American culture, when you've got Disney and the NFL against you, that's basically like being Berlin in the pincers between Eisenhower and Zhukov.:-)

30 March, 2016 04:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary is most certainly a hawk. The linked to article went to great lengths to muddle her record enough to make it seem less hawkish, but failed miserably. So other Senators voted for AUMF - I could care less - none of them is running for president and asking for my vote. So she can blather on ad nauseam regarding Libya - it's a fucking blood bath today and that is solely because of what the US did there - with SoS Clinton cheerleading all the way for intervention. Her feeble defenses notwithstanding.
Look at her record in the Senate - see her taking tough stands against defense spending, intervention, or the security state? Me neither.
Look, I'm voting for Sanders in the primary and fully expect to be voting for Clinton in the general because I'm not insane and don't want to see Trump or Cruz in the White House. But claiming one of the most militaristic national Democrats of the last several generations isn't militaristic is absurd. She is and her entire record proves it.

30 March, 2016 07:59  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: We should be proud of having helped to overthrow the abominable Qaddhafi -- and as for what followed, the US does not have nearly as much impact on events in the Middle East as both its boosters and detractors seem to believe. As for the rest, I invite readers to look at the article along with your objections and draw their own conclusions.

voting for Clinton in the general because I'm not insane and don't want to see Trump or Cruz in the White House.

Thank you for that. There is, at least, no question of how dangerous Trump or Cruz would be.

30 March, 2016 17:52  
Anonymous NickM said...

Disney I shall give you. NFL I never got.

31 March, 2016 04:01  

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