Thursday, May 8, 2014

5 Pop Culture Notes, 5 Political Notes (and Seavey/Perry on YouTube again)

First the pop:

1. You can find me and Gerard Perry in Matt Brandenburgh-directed YouTube videos like this new one in which we comment on Spider-Man, Islam, and of course Space Ghost.

2. April, as I note in the video, saw THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the first episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Space Ghost once complained, “Moltar and I are out here doing my damnedest to put on the best talk show possible.” And so it is with Seavey/Perry On Culture. (I guess you can call it SPOC, by the way.)

3. The inspiration for part of our video chat, about how an apparent Muslim imam’s letter to Ultimate Spider-Man (printed in issue #200) mistakenly referred to Spidey co-creator Steve Ditko as deceased, was this article. More important, perhaps -- and not mentioned at all in the video -- is the fact that Amazing Spider-Man 2 is awful, a real throwback to perfunctory 90s superhero movies (whereas the trailers for the new X-Men movie look great).

4. The biggest Marvel news of the month might come when Jack Kirby’s estate argues for partial ownership of such characters in front of the Supreme Court on May 15. My position, of course, is that a contract is a contract, no matter how rich others got from your much-appreciated contribution. Use a better lawyer next time or law and contract will just be replaced by rule-by-loudest-whining.

5. And if you felt a disturbance in the Force, as if a million nerds cried out that everything they love was just destroyed, it might have been that hardcore subset of Star Wars fans who loved the “Expanded Universe” of novels, comics, and other spin-off materials, which all just got declared non-canonical in order to give J.J. Abrams a clean slate for next year’s Star Wars: Episode VII (rumored to be called The Ancient Fear, but who knows). 

Everything from Superman to James Bond to Planet of the Apes has been to some degree rebooted for the twenty-first century by now -- and it may shock you to hear that this 80s-ophile is starting to feel at home here at last.

On to politics:

6. Just to get more stuff done, I quit a total of five anarcho-capitalist Facebook pages in which I was participating. Another participant in a few of them is off to sea as a merchant marine after years of being an unashamed Aquaman fan. Yet another will be living in NYC for a month. It seemed an apt time. However...

7. ...I was pleased to party with libertarians at the bar Play (next door to the Museum of Sex) twice recently, once to mark the final night of legal e-cigarettes use in NYC before the insane and deadly ban on “vaping” in public venues goes into effect, increasing the odds of at least some people avoiding harmless e-cigarettes and sticking with their deadly conventional cigarettes, despite the tragic and now easily avoidable toll of some 400,000 dead Americans per year.

Damn you, homicidal NYC government, near-useless patch-and-pill-peddling pharmaceutical companies, and your supposedly public-health-minded activist-organization allies, who merely want a “scalp” they can claim more easily than the tobacco companies’.

8. Even with our (now FBI-investigated) communist mayor here, though, NYC may not yet be as left-wing as San Francisco, which has reached the point where Luddite hippies launch anti-car, anti-search-engine protests against Google tech wizards, hell-bent on dragging us back to the stone age in the name of Progressivism.

At least if they destroy the Internet completely, we won’t have to see daily evidence of how rapidly-proliferating subcultures are coming up with innovative new ways of being offended, as the rest of us cruelly fail to pay sufficient honor to their status as transsexuals 3.0, animal-identifying “otherkin,” or whatever comes next.

God forbid we should focus on more important things, like whether Obama and the EU will cause World War III by sparring with Russia over an ambiguous Ukraine.

9. Libertarians have their own endless internal squabbles, too, of course. Apparently BleedingHeartLibertarians blogger Jason Brennan praised left-liberal Paul Krugman over libertarian economist Murray Rothbard and then deleted his post in cowardly fashion (h/t Stephan Kinsella). Brennan also reportedly once said people should read his resume to confirm that “Rothbard isn’t even on my level.”

This sort of narcissistic, presumptuous, make-up-our-own-reality display ought to be the end of the liberal-tarian Bleeding Heart project once and for all, but in the meantime I’ll settle for enjoying this essay (h/t Jesse Forgione) by John McCaskey, who, incredibly, taught at Brown for a couple semesters yet has here written a great critique and overview of classical liberalism’s rise into libertarianism and tragic descent into liberal-tarianism.

McCaskey sounds more Objectivist (and thus anti-altruism) than I might like, but it’s nice to see someone taking the liberal-tarian academics just seriously enough to see them as a threat to liberty.

10. If you want to know what I really think about all that, for now you will have to ask me in person, by catching me in the audience in a few hours at a Deroy Murdock speech about the Democrats’ and the left’s long history of oppressing blacks (and Republicans’ unsung history of fighting back).

It’s from 6-7pm today (May 8), in Room 808 at NYU’s Kimmel Student Center at Washington Square Park South (West 4th Street) and LaGuardia Place.

And, crucially, there will be free pizza and soda.

1 comment:

Will Linden said...

I am roaming Kimmel, having got past the vigilance of Security (who did nothing while the Marxoids terrotized me for four years), and found the 8th floow occupied by "noncredit public relations" sessions. I was unable to give the name of the event I was looking for or the sponsoring organization, hence Security's obstruction.