Archive for ‘December, 2015’
If Ian Curtis had lived he would have ended up somewhere between Roger Waters and Morrissey.
New Order would have come out of Joy Division no matter what.
If you go to any given city and go to the local music scene and find the guys in each of the four categories who want to be in a band the most but aren’t yet, the drummer the guitarist the bassist and the vocalist, you will end up with something very much like Joy Division or Booker T. and the MGs. By that I mean you will end up with a tight rhythm section that just wants to play dance music, a laconic guitarist who does nothing but produce hooks on demand, and the personality of the Curtis/Booker T. will dictate the particular shape the band plays. This is because of the particular types of personalities that are drawn to each role in the band. The band will probably only be good if at least one of those four is really good, and it will only be great if they’re all really good. But rock and roll has always been about putting a lot of kids on stage and figuring out which ones are talented later.
Joy Division was a professional band. It was assembled from the four unattached kids in Manchester who wanted it the most. They were never friends, even from the very beginning. They were coworkers.
The notable thing about the punk movement of the late 70s is that it caused a bunch of people to become professional musicians before they learned to play their instruments. That’s why they ape the forms of their own particular genres (Ramones and their girl group mania, the Talking Heads deciding they were Fela Kuti, etc.) but it’s more recognizably punk than what they’re ripping off.
Listen to this song and tell me you can’t see the Blues Brothers walking down the street to it. Listen to the drums and the bass. Joy Division was a dance band. That’s why, when Ian Curtis died, they turned into a dance band.
But watch the video and you get the impression it’s all about some tortured young man being tortured and young. Nope, it’s about British kids trying to play a Stax groove and not quite getting it right but getting somewhere else interesting all the same.
And don’t watch that movie Control, because it is some sonorous bullshit and it didn’t go down like that at all.
Jessica Jones is the only show with the guts to ask the tough questions about mind-controlling supervillains. Like, what if they mind controlled everybody to kill themselves unless you left them alone? You’d be screwed, right?
I thought the Purple Man was really scary. Way scarier than he was in the comics.
And that’s not just because I have a blonde daughter.
Marvel has made the transition to television in glorious style. The spirit which once animated the superhero comics of the world has well and truly fled to live-action television. That leaves the rest of us still left behind in the comics world as a society avante-garde artists, like jazz musicians after the kids started listening to all that rock and roll, and that I have no problem with.
Comic books are not a genre, they are a medium. Their utter dominance by superhero stories in the United States is an interesting conundrum, because it simultaneously inflates that genre and belittles this medium. However, the genre of the superhero is essential, and I’m glad comics perfected it.
It’s a power fantasy.
It’s a really complex, multi-generational power fantasy, and it is tremendously bound up in our American identity. In this country the genre, the medium, the industry and the nation all get mixed up together.
Comics is not a perfect predictor of the future. Although they’ve been rabidly inclusive and multiracial for decades, the field was decidedly retrograde on feminist issues all the way up until the late 90s. It still doesn’t have a great relationship with homosexuality and transgender issues. In some ways the comics bust of 1994 prefigured other, larger industry implosions such as the death of the music industry, the end of the book store and the 2008 housing market collapse. And then, in other ways, it didn’t. I’m not an economist so I can’t prove to you what means what. I draw comic books, and I can tell you about how Marvel came to the screen.
It’s a big topic. This is part of getting started.
The 2nd Amendment only protects our right to shoot cops, a right I am no longer sure it’s worth preserving. The self-defense claims are nonsense, hunting is irrelevant, what you’re talking about with your #2a is the right to fight the government, and that means shooting a cop or shooting the guy that works at the post office, and I’m pretty sure y’all mean the cops.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot. If I was here, on this very spot, in 1860, I sure as shit would have wanted the 2nd Amendment. I would have gotten six or seven rifles and gone down to a bend I know in the stagecoach road between Austin and San Antonio and I would have cleansed Texas political life real fast. Senator Henry Wigfall I’m looking at you.
Now? I don’t know. I don’t like the way this new Civil War is shaping up. I don’t like the insurgents at all, and they don’t like me either. If it happened right now, I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up on the side that wins; i.e., the U. S. government’s side. Sorry about that, Texas secessionists; I’m under no illusion that there’s a place for me in your Christian utopia. But I’m trying to consider your right fairly and logically. Let’s say that your exercise of 2nd amendment rights does not involve killing all the Muslims in America and everybody who gets in the way of that, which will include me. Let’s assume that the government is as bad as you think it is.
Let’s assume that the government starts treating us all the way the government treats black people in the ghetto, for example. That would be terrible. If that happened I can totally see why you would want to “exercise your Second Amendment options.” I can totally see why a black man who is being shot at by an undercover cop who never even identified themselves (like Sean Bell, for example — this really happens, Sean Bell’s just the name I remember. It’s happened many, many times since) would want to be able to shoot back at this person, who he has no idea is a cop.
That’s what I think y’all are talking about when you talk about 2nd Amendment rights. That’s what’s worth defending.
Am I willing to defend that right?
Well I’d be a lot more willing to if so many of y’all weren’t so fucking racist.
But even if you weren’t, would I? Would it be a better world if Sean Bell had shot that man who was shooting at him? Even though that man was an (undercover) cop (who had not identified himself)?
So what you’re asking me is, is the preservation of our society more important to me than the right of a black man to kill a cop who is unjustly trying to kill him?
That’s what the 2nd Amendment is to me. That’s what we’re really talking about here. That’s the question you’re asking me.
And I don’t know the answer.
You don’t need all these guns for self-defense. You don’t need all these guns for hunting. They sure aren’t making y’all feel safe, because you just collectively freaked out over six Syrian refugees. What you need them for is to protect you from being treated the way the government is already treating people right now. Oddly you have no sympathy for these people.
No, I can’t trust the government. I can’t trust you either.
I do not think I am in favor of your right to shoot a cop. I do not think I am in favor of the 2nd Amendment as it is currently interpreted. I think that I am in favor of strong controls. I’m terribly sorry to those that this upsets.
Everybody knows that the reason Captain America was a hit is because we wanted to see Hitler get punched in the face and Jack Kirby gave it to us.
However, I feel like Cap punches Hitler on more levels than just one.
Consider, if you will, that Cap is Aryan. Literally super-Aryan, he was a little brown nobody and then a GERMAN SCIENTIST gave him a wonder-drug that turned him into the Aryan dream. He was more Aryan than Hitler (or Kirby for that matter) so when he punched Hitler it was like he was saying, “I am your fondest dream, and I just plain don’t like you. Even if everything went exactly like you wanted, I would still hate you.”
That’s some stern repudiation right there. Best way I know to refute a political philosophy is to take the best-case scenario and show it completely to suck. “You don’t even want what you want,” is what it’s saying. “As soon as your science-born Aryan superman gets here he’s going to punch you in the face.”
And you had it comin’.
Getting interested in the riddle of Sam Houston.
Sam Houston more or less considered himself a Native American. That seems like a contradiction to modern readers, because he was one of Jackson’s chief lieutenants, and Jackson is mostly known now for committing genocide against the Seminole. But this was the way of the world at the time, and Houston pledged his time and his allegiance equally between the US government and the Cherokee. He grew up with the Cherokee, married into their tribe, and essentially behaved towards them as we modern readers wish every Euro-American had. He appears to be the best of the “Indian Agents,” and Jackson was grooming him for President of America when he flipped out and went to live in Texas.
The Native Americans of the middle West appear to have had no problem whatsoever with slavery. This makes a lot of sense, when seen from their perspective. This explains why the Native Americans (I feel silly not typing “Indians,” because that’s what they were called at the time, or naming specific tribes like the Cherokee or the Creek or the Comanche, which is what I really should be doing, but I lack the knowledge to be that specific). Plantation slavery did not exist in their area. They thought of slavery as a small-scale, more personal thing, and did not differentiate between that and the other various forms of oppression that they encountered every day. Moreover, it was as easy to believe that black people were a different people from white people as it was to believe that the natives were a different species entirely than the white people.
Houston appears to have shared this attitude towards slavery. He didn’t want to participate in it or fight it as much as go someplace where it was irrelevant. I think he thought that slavery would hit the frontier and recoil. He was right, but it didn’t work out the way he wanted.
I think Houston thought that if he set up Texas as a country he could get the Indians a fair shake. He made a bargain with the slavers because he knew that plantation slavery would never take hold in Texas, and he believed from his personal experience that freedom would always be as close as the frontier. He was wrong, and he made the wrong friends, and he got to live long enough to see everything he loved destroyed. That’s what happens to good men in bad times.