Six Bite-Sized commentaries on what's going on in and around our strange world. Starting at the top of the list:
1. Superman's 75th Birthday.
Even though the character remains caught in an endless tug-of-war battle between the heirs of the original creators and the faceless megacorporation that has controlled the intellectual property for years, the fact remains that Superman is still considered our first modern super hero and has become synonymously tied to the best qualities of the American people. I hope that the movie does well later this year, but I'm not holding my breath. And while he's not my first, nor my favorite, Big Name Super Hero, at his best, when the stories are at their greatest, he's hard to beat. We need an example, now more than ever, of an ideal to strive for. In the arena of popular culture, Supes is still at the top of the list. Happy Birthday, Big Guy.
2. The Boston Bombing
I'm extremely disheartened by what has happened, and I officially take back every bad thing I ever said about Boston. No one deserves this. No one. And as its been pointed out by many others already: boy, did you guys pick the wrong city to mess with. I am very impressed with the 24 hour news networks' restrained and cautious coverage of the situation--what a refreshing change of pace. They figured out really early on that no one wanted any politicizing--they just wanted facts, information, and data. Maybe they could carry that lesson forward into their day-to-day operations, but--no, that's asking for too much.
3. The West Explosion
It's been very hard to watch the news. I love the town of West. My mother is Czech, and so I'm half-Czech, and while we don't have any family ties to the town, I have a very real spiritual kinship to the place.
4. When Tragedies Strike
A lot of people like to point to the random violences that routinely disrupt civilization and say, "How can a god who loves everyone allow that to happen?" Well, I don't claim to be any kind of religious scholar, but I don't think that's an accurate interpretation of "God's Will." I don't like that phrase, and I don't use it. I really don't like using God to try and rationalize away a tragedy, as if it's okay that houses blew up and people died. It's not okay. It never has been. But I do think this: when people turn around and run back into the blast to pull other folks to safety; when strangers run directly into hospitals to give blood; when people just start cooking food on the side of the road and giving sandwiches and blankets to their neighbors; when first responders charge into buildings knowing that an explosion is coming--there's the love of a higher power, right there--that's the presence of something greater than ourselves. It's that positive energy that we all respond to on a gut-level.
5. TV Round-Up
I'm finally caught up with Mad Men that I'm watching the new season as it's playing out. Wow. This may be the season that jumps the shark. Game of Thrones had better pick up the pace. I'm already starting to get bored. I had a flash-forward of how many TV seasons it would take to get to Book Five--charitably, 10 seasons. And GRRM says he has three books to go. I really don't know if I can hang in there that long. And let me say for the record that while I do find NCIS a wonderfully guilty pleasure, mostly for Mark Harmon, is USA contractually obligated to show the same ten episodes in a row, back to back, in perpetuity? Would it kill them to start with season 1 and just run forward with it?
6. A Personal Note to Every Single Male Gamer Currently Whining About "Fake Girls" and "Rape Culture..."
What the hell is wrong with you? Are you seriously THAT emotionally and socially retarded that you are trying to discourage girls, ladies, and women from playing the same games and reading the same comics as you? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LUCKY YOU ARE? No, you don't, because you're the generation of entitlement and privilege, and you've never had to work for social acceptance. I'm over the age of 40. In high school, if I wanted ANY of my girlfriends to read a comic book, I had to tie them to a chair and pin their eyelids back like in A Clockwork Orange. And even then, it was a hassle. They didn't get it. They didn't want to. Well, those days are long gone, you little Suburban Imbeciles. Now you've got teenage girls who are--let me make this very clear--MUCH better looking than you, wanting to play games and talk about Spider-Man. Um...what's the problem again? And if you're a game manufacturer having this same issue, do us all a favor and decide to become a man, okay? Men don't rape. Men don't exclude others based on gender. In fact, I'd rather play Halo with Jill rather than Jack. And if you can't see the obvious, and not-so-obvious advantages of having girls in the treehouse, then you are Doing It Wrong and you need to self-segregate, so that the rest of us know who you are. Go over there and sit in your own juices. We'll be over here, having a Game of Thrones discussion with the Babes.
Sincerely, That Guy in GameStop Who Was Giving You the Stink-Eye Earlier Today