Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Benevolent Dictatorships

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And speaking of blind sallowing amidst immutable realities, The Watchmen is coming out tomorrow, which means we get to watch another epic get condensed into a two-hour flick that misses the depth of character necessary to get its point across. I suppose it’s just me but the first thing I thought of in terms of how to deal with distilling massive verbiage on the topics of society and philosophy to 90 minutes was Mamoru Oshii’s version of Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell.

At best you can hope for a pastiche that gives a taste of the flavor of those characters while limiting its purview, a la Lord of the Rings or every Batman movie ever made. At worst your characters talk like they’re on helium just to fit in every minor point of the creator’s Theory of the Universe, a la Ghost in the Shell.

Alan Moore, understandably, doesn’t much like such efforts. Read the rest of this entry »


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The thing about getting TV, internet and phone service all from the cable company is that, when they interrupt service or are doing repairs on your block, you’re literally cut off from the rest of the world. It’s like losing a limb. Damn you, Time Warner. I know you’re throttling my connection, too.

It’s at times like this that I would long for a somewhat more compact, more urban, more centrally organized system such that infrastructure is efficient and handled by agencies powerful enough to get what needs doing done. My throttled connection reminded me of Obama’s plan to upgrade infrastructure – among which is broadband access – to the exurbs and rural areas of this country, as a nod to the New Deal’s CCC and other initiatives in troubled times.

Problem is, we live in a democracy.* China will, of course, show us just how much a centralized power structure is so terribly far more efficient than a democratic machine in times when direct action is required. Not that there aren’t drawbacks to that system, but sometimes you just want the A train to run on the weekends, damnit.

*Just about the only salient point made in this entire article.

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