Monday, November 20, 2006

Several Things...

Did a bunch of household chores and stuff this weekend... But, here are a few things:

  • I've been reading Action Philosophers Giant Size Thing Volume 1 lately. Awesome! Highly recommended! Props to SSMW for throwing it my way. Here's the official site (soon to be blogrolled) and here's a Philosophy Now review. Excerpt: Will Action Philosophers inspire today’s teen slackers to become the next generation’s deep thinkers? Or will it lull them into a false sense of understanding, the comic-book equivalent of Philosophy for Dummies? To be fair, probably a little of both. In any case, Action Philosophers is a good resource for those who admit to being staggered by the vast historical sweep of philosophy and just don’t know where to start. It’s also a witty diversion even for those who can quote chapter-and-verse from the works of the great intellectuals. And who knows – maybe these divergent demographics will bump into one another at the newsstand?
  • I watched a movie I had been meaning to watch for years (decades?) the other day, Larry Cohen's The Stuff. It's about this eponymous stuff that somebody finds oozing out of the ground, and it tastes great! Only three problems: a) It's more addictive than any drug, b) It's sentient, and c) It takes over your body from the inside and turns you into (what becomes known as) a "Stuffie." They start marketing it and it becomes so popular that it threatens to put ice cream companies out of business. Conspiracy and satire ensue. Well worth a look if you know who Larry Cohen is without checking.
  • Excellent essay at Monitor Duty comparing and contrasting the DC Silver Age with the Marvel Silver Age. Excerpt: The Marvel Universe was really limited to New York City. Yes, the heroes would travel to distant lands, dimensions, and planets. But the heart of the thing was New York. DC had a much wider spread. You can't say that any one city is the "heart" of the DC Universe, because all of the characters invariably existed in their own little corner of it. Superman has Metropolis, Batman has Gotham City, the Flash Keystone City, et cetera. And the heroes are not only separated geographically, but it sometimes feels as if they occupy their own universes as well. Superman really has his own universe, full of space-villains, chunks of red kryptonite, super-pets, and the dance of his secret identity. Really, it's a more-or-less hermetically sealed setting… …With Marvel, everything takes place in the same New York. Now, I'm not saying the different characters and books don't have their own identity: Spider-Man's stories have a completely different tone than Dr. Strange's. But they still occupy the same geographic location, they are still, in some ways, grounded in the same universe.

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