Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just What I Needed: Liberty! Micronauts! Spider-Man! Rock Tragedy!

If all has gone as planned, I’m in Boston as this post appears — the city of the entertaining and violent Boondock Saints and of the original (but not the last!) Tea Party, where dwell several of my college friends, including Dave Whitney, whose fortieth birthday some of us gathered to celebrate. I stayed with an actual family, the grown-up kind with law firm and hospital type jobs and two kids and everything.

Only one of the parents is a libertarian, despite New England’s proud heritage of rebellion, and if she wanted to explain her aversion to the government in an ironic way, she might consider reading to her kids the book Why Mommy Loves the State by my friend Bretigne Shaffer (or download the whole thing free here). You can also read about Bretigne’s time living in a house for ex-pats in Japan by buying her book Memoirs of a Gaijin (or downloading it for free here).

Speaking of libertarians, note too that Vox Day has a new book out called The Return of the Great Depression, grim as that prognosis may sound.

And somewhere in between these kid concerns and grown-up concerns fall two items of interest:

1. This great Seth MacFarlane cartoon Helen pointed out to me of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Popeye all trying to carry on an audible conversation.

2. The news that my own favorite toys and favorite resultant comic book from childhood — Micronauts — may be turned into a movie by no less an auteur than J.J. Abrams. Waiting for this news is one of the main reasons I have kept on living since age five. The world may see the resulting film — about robots and sci-fi creatures battling the evil Baron Karza and his minions, all of them tiny-sized beings from the subatomic Microverse — and think it looks just a bit too much like Star Wars. But I know Micronauts came first. Because I was there. Short of government ceasing to exist, this is about the best news I can imagine. It cannot possibly suck. Life would not be that cruel.

On a slightly more mature note, when Helen recently noted that there are few female film auteurs, I suggested Julie Taymor, director of Titus, Across the Universe, and soon a Helen Mirren, gender-reversed version of The Tempest, not to mention (if the financing holds) the Spider-Man stage musical with music by U2. She has the Grant Morrison-like attitude that sci-fi and comics and Shakespeare and psychedelia can all fit onto a larger palette of fantasy that needn’t be myopically focused on, say, Mr. Spock, nor be just for hardcore nerds, and that’s just fine with me. And here she is talking about Spider-Man (looking pretty charismatic in her late fifties, I might add).

P.S. The mention of U2 reminds me of a grimmer rock tidbit I just heard: J.D. Midnight Fortune, who a few years ago won the TV competition Rockstar: INXS to become the band’s new lead singer, has reportedly recently been living in his car, ousted from the band, and struggling with a cocaine habit. I guess if you do material as dark and powerful as that of INXS, you’re bound to end up autoerotically asphyxiated or living in a car.


William O. B'Livion. said...

Dogs In Space!

Gerard said...

Ugh…Seth Macfarlane.

Todd Seavey said...

Television _perfected_! Though still not enough to make me want to resume having TV reception. There is too much _life_ out there — life for the _living_.

Jeff said...

FYI: It’s J.D. Fortune, not Midnight.

Todd Seavey said...

Right you are. Corrected above now. Not sure who (else) I may have been thinking of.

david said...

Micronauts came before Star Wars?

Todd Seavey said...

Indeed — even Baron Karza (though the very Star Wars-like _comics_ came just _after_ Star Wars debuted). In fact, the toys have one of the most convoluted, Kevin Baconian histories imaginable, tying them to the manufacture of G.I. Joe, Transformers, and, crucially, the Japanese Microman toys.

I still remember my neighbor Danny Curran — older and in many ways wiser than I — predicting inaccurately that there’d be no great demand for Star Wars figures because we already had Micronauts, which were superior.

And, yes, that is a Terraphant sitting in my parents’ basement to this day — right near even more terrifying Hornetroid.

Todd Seavey said...

Collect (pics of) all of Mego’s playsets and toys while you’re at it: