…plus friends at a flea market and perhaps at Burning Man too (and a note on the book The Cassini Division). Ten times to remember:
•NOW: You can hear what Gerard Perry and I (and our special guest star, the lovely Jackie) think about one Marvel’s current blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy -- as well as another comics-based film out in August, the sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For -- in our new podcast (a successor to our earlier YouTube video experiments)!!!
•AUGUST 3: At the Greenflea flea market (on Columbus Ave. between 76th and 77th) this coming Sunday, you’ll find one booth run by Kelley Edmiston, who was an extremely helpful guide to New Orleans for me (as she has been for countless others) when I visited and wrote about that city years ago. I will have to pay her a visit Sunday (between 10am and 6pm) and see her wares.
•AUGUST 9: please attend the (funny but real) political-discussion panel I’ll be part of, organized by Tom Brennan (himself a Marvel editor turned DC Comics editor), at People’s Improv (123 E. 24th in NYC) on Sat., August 9 at 7pm, when the timely main topic will be: “Immigration.”
•AUGUST 29: Is anyone out there going to Burning Man?
I’m not, but someone who is please become a hero to a whole subculture of people who hate or laugh at quasi-performance-artist and jaw-dropping narcissist Julia Allison by reporting online and taking pictures Friday, August 29th (6-8pm) at Burning Man’s Chillax Lounge, at Camp Mystic, as she “marries herself,” having decided at long last that she is not engaged in enough self-love. And let me know if you do so.
As explained on the watchful and mocking ReDiscovering Donk blog, Julia “Donkey” Allison has also apparently chosen a known child molester to officiate, just to add characteristic unplanned comedy/disaster to the embarrassing proceedings.
(I don’t know if, say, Brian Doherty or Reid Mihalko is going to Burning Man this year -- but if nothing else, the latter points out this video of Rollie the armadillo playing with a toy, so that’s some entertainment value right there. I am also fond of this fat cat. As the human interviewee in the video says, “That cat’s not pregnant. That cat is Norm.”)
BACK IN 2006: Speaking of grotesque pageants and vulnerable children, I never imagined before (belatedly) seeing Little Miss Sunshine that I’d see one cultural artifact that seems to have influenced Arcade Fire, Breaking Bad, and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. It also makes sense its writer, Michael Arndt, would be used to write one of the sick-pageant-oriented Hunger Games movies, and he reportedly did some early script work on Star Wars VII, which no doubt involves young new trainees as well.
IN THE DISTANT FUTURE: There was an interstellar civilization in our own solar system as well -- until capitalism caused “the Fall” (or at least was blamed for it) and was abolished, leaving behind super-smart, sexy, nanotech-suit-wearing anarcho-socialists, who hate both government and capitalism and find it baffling that people once had to work and earn wages in order to acquire goods and services (how silly!).
Or at least that is the premise of Ken MacLeod’s 1998 sci-fi novel The Cassini Division, which may be the product of a damned socialist but does a cool job of building up to conflict with possible godlike extra-dimensional menaces who threaten to render (even futuristic) human social systems obsolete.
What I’ve read of it so far is more encouraging than the worryingly bland trailers for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi film Interstellar (apparently based on the simpler -- but stupider -- premise that it is easier to find a new planet for humans to live on than to produce more food on Earth).
And after all, all of us anarchists -- anarcho-capitalists and anarcho-socialists alike -- were pals back in the nineteenth century in the U.S., so perhaps there will be peace again one day. Just stop touching my stuff when the time comes and we’ll be cool. Catch you after Jubilee, dude.
AND IN THE 1940S: Apparently, the upcoming midseason replacement early-days-of-S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Carter TV series (starring Hayley Atwell) will serve partly to set up Marvel’s Ant-Man movie -- by depicting teen-or-so Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, the young versions of the original Ant-Man and Wasp, not to mention depicting the original fleshy version of Jarvis the butler, all of which is kinda cool.
The show will depict Capt. America’s ex-girlfriend helping to found the spy group S.H.I.E.L.D. after WWII.
BUT NOWADAYS: The audience for superhero fare no longer is no longer all that white, according to this article about Latinos in geek culture such as Sin City director Robert Rodriguez himself (h/t Kathleen Hunter).
IN THE 1950S: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s real-world sister organization, the CIA, claims that repeatedly U-2 spy planes were mistaken for UFOs. It’s just one of the many things mentioned (on International UFO Day this year, as it happens) by the CIA’s actual, for-real, though joke-prone official Twitter feed, for good or ill. (They’ve also joked about mass surveillance. Ha ha!)
ETERNAL VIGILANCE: But perhaps we should watch for sharks in the NYC sky, per the warning issued this week by Sharknado 2 (which I think I’ll be watching on DVR with college pals this weekend). Ours is a rich cultural tapestry.