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Thursday, November 28, 2002

Temporal Sophistry -- The sophistry of conventional calendar and clock distortions to suit personal or regional paradigms infuriates me in this 24-hour world we now live in. Maybe I was ahead of the curve because I worked the overnight shift in radio for a decade, but it's so silly to me that we have seperate time zones, goddamned Daylight Saving Time and all the other stupid, provincial limitations we place on what are, for all intents and purposes here on Planet Earth, fairly objective facts.

Mark Evanier explains one such annoyance right here.

What I want, y'see, is one Global Time. When it's 1300 hours on the other side of the world, it should be 1300 hours here, and we should be intelligent enough and mature enough to accept that at 1300 hours, it's goddamned dark out.

You might think that sounds silly, but it would be nice, when watching the news, to know that if the anchor says something happened in some other part of the world "at 6 o'clock this morning," we could all know what that means. Global Time. Part of a Grown-Up World.


Wednesday, November 27, 2002

I'm Going To Miss You All -- With the impending collapse of the internet, I just wanted to let you all know how much I've enjoyed your company. Your many e-mails and message board posts have really made writing about comics fun and informative. Once the 'net goes down, please do call or send me a postcard sometime.

You know what I'm going to miss the most? That's right, THE PORN.


Friday, November 08, 2002

What's Good For Spider-Man? -- You see a lot of Spider-Man DVDs these days. Displays in seemingly every store push hundreds and hundreds of copies of the webhead's film debut at you. Buy. Me. Now!!

Is it good for consumers? Well, it makes a desired film easy to find.

Is it good for comics? I don't see how it can't be, considering how much more intertwined with the industry this movie is than any previous comics film. I wish Ghost World had had as much information related to Dan Clowes and Eightball as the Spider-Man DVD has stuff about John Romita, Stan Lee and the other people who contributed to the book over the decades. It's impossible to view the DVD without having an acute awareness that this is a character with a rich history, and hey, in case you want to see more, there's a coupon for three free issues right in the DVD case.

My six-year-old son recognized Spider-Man on sight before we took him to the movie, but he didn't really care about him one way or the other. Since the film, the character has captured his imagination and I've never seen him so interested in devouring everything he can about a fictional character. Action figures, t-shirts, comics, hats, snow boots, all are plastered with Spider-Man, and he loves it. As a comics reader with a full 30 years invested in reading and enjoying comics, it's extremely gratifying to see him take such delight in Spider-Man. I don't care too much for any of the current comics series, but you know, when I was my son's age, I did. Today I think From Hell, Ghost World, Forlorn Funnies and other great comics show the vast potential for a medium that I fell into partly because of -- Spider-Man (and thanks, Gerry Conway and Ross Andru -- they were there when I discovered the book and you know how that is). So maybe 30 years from now my son will have similarly matured and refined tastes. Maybe he'll move on to something else. Who cares? Right now he's deliriously happy with something that won't hurt him, and that's good for him.

Is it good for Spider-Man? I don't really know what that means. Marvel's characters have lagged behind DC's for decades in terms of becoming genuine cultural icons. To the vast, uncaring public whose known for decades that Clark Kent was Superman and Bruce Wayne was Batman, 15 years ago only real fans knew who Peter Parker was. Now everyone knows.

The Spider-Man movie has pushed the character over the edge into full-fledged cultural icon status.

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Saturday, November 02, 2002

Nirvana -- If you've ever read my Kurt Cobain thing, you know I think Cobain and the music he made with Nirvana will endure. Nothing that's happened since his death in 1994 has changed my mind about that one bit. The new Nirvana CD convinces me even more.

Leading off with the previously-unreleased You Know You're Right was a brilliant idea. Instead of soaking in nostalgia before finally revealing it as a tacked-on afterthought, leading off the disc with this astonishingly contemporary sonic attack acknowledges right up front that not only was the band ahead of its time, but it still is. The song is nearly a decade old and sounds like the signal effort of a new wave in rock. Of course, it also emphasizes just how much was lost when Kurt died.

That day in April nearly a decade ago was a tragedy both personal and generational. Nirvana celebrates the best of the band and shows definitively why the pain remains so acute, so many years later.






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