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Sunday brunch: Links for the week 28 April – 4 May 2013

Have a seat, eat some fried eggs and bacon, and read up on some links. Sounds like a good time to me!

COMICS!

Peter David ends X-Factor. Considering that the story arc currently being offered in Previews is called “The End of X-Factor,” this is perhaps not surprising. Also not surprising: Marvel cancels this when David leaves. I’m sure we’ll see another iteration soon enough (perhaps even the next month, which is an annoying tic that Marvel does, it seems, more than DC), but I figured that the book would last only as long as David lasted. It will be interesting to re-read the entire run and see how it holds together.

The story of AOL ending Comics Alliance was a bit more surprising. As far as comics news, I tended to read Robot 6 and CA, even far more than I read the Mothership (sorry, Jonah!). No one seems to know the reason for the closure, except that AOL was reshuffling things. I don’t get the many, many haters’ comments about the site – sure, not everything was a winner, but the vitriol leveled at it in some of the comments sections is weird. Read the Robot 6 and the Bleeding Cool comments for some examples. I’m still not sure how discussing racism and sexism in comics, even if you think it’s not there, is a bad thing. Anyway, they haven’t done Morrison annotations in a while, which I really liked, David Brothers is still writing for 4thletter!, and Sims just posted the latest Funkywatch, so I think I’ll be okay. It’s just too bad CA has been killed.

“Ah Ethel!” Trust me. Just check it out.

POP CULTURE!

FotB Daniel Joyaux has started doing a Game of Thrones Power Ranking series, the latest one of which is here. I can’t comment on whether he’s right or not, because I consume GoT over the course of about 6 days after the season is over, power-watching 2 or 3 episodes (the latter if it’s a Friday or Saturday night) every night. That helps me keep track of the vast cast more easily, plus I don’t have to wait a week to see what happens next. “But Greg,” the logically-minded among you might object, “you still have to wait a few extra months while each episode airs!” Well, sure, but I’ve already waited so many months already, I don’t mind waiting a bit more for the more intense viewing experience. But it does mean I have to avoid all spoilers and even on-line discussions of the show. That’s the trade-off I make!

Here’s Under Siege cut as a silent movie. These sorts of things are all over the Internet, but the presence of Steven Seagal in anything makes it 1000 times better. SCIENCE!

Here’s an overview of the Misfits of Science pilot. I never actually watched Misfits of Science, because I must have been doing something else in 1985. Maybe it was on at the same time as The A-Team or Knight Rider?

Apparently there’s a Twitter account for ’80s Don Draper. It’s not bad. I found the link here.

I know I shouldn’t be reading Cracked articles, but this one led me to the Lord of the Rings Project, which is pretty awesome. That dude has way too much time on his hands, but it’s fun to noodle around on it for a while.

Is this the most sexist show in history? It’s possible, I guess, but it did lead to a different television show with a gender flip. Fun stuff!

SPORTS/POP CULTURE!

Jason Collins, a journeyman NBA player, came out of the closet this week. I think it’s pretty cool that this was greeted mostly with kudos or, best of all, “mehs,” as it really didn’t matter that much to a lot of people. Of course, Chris Broussard of ESPN said something stupid about it, but that’s his right. The idea that he should be fired for it is asinine, I think, but the comments (don’t read the comments!) seem filled with people who want him killed. There’s nothing more intolerant than people preaching tolerance for others, amirite?!?!? As usual with the terrible media, has anyone ever asked Chris Broussard about his opinion on noted adulterer Kobe Bryant? I mean, if Broussard is against not only Collins’s homosexuality but also the fact that he’s having sex out of wedlock (although you’ll note that Collins could easily be a virgin), he has to be against a shit-ton of other NBA players who have kids out of wedlock or cheat on their wives, right? Someone should ask him that. Meanwhile, this is either more evidence that it’s not a big deal or more evidence that ESPN has sold its soul: the network cared more about Tim Tebow than Jason Collins. That’s pretty funny. Finally, we get a media guide to Collins coming out. Just so you can be extra sensitive!

Hey, it was the Philadelphia Phillies’ 130th birthday the other day. The Phillies, for those of you who don’t follow baseball, are the second-oldest baseball franchise (after the Cubs) and the losingest sports franchise in history. That’s my team, damn it!!!! [Edit: Dang, I forgot they're the fourth-oldest baseball franchise, after the Cubs, Braves, and Reds. My bad! They still have the most losses, by God!]

MISCELLANEOUS!

Kelly Thompson went to Oregon. Yes, it’s just another reason to hate Kelly Thompson, if all her crazy opinions weren’t enough!

America’s most beautiful town squares. Prescott, AZ, is on the list, and it’s not a bad choice. Prescott is a nice town.

I would have more, but I got sidetracked at the end of the week a bit in the real world. Such is life! Have a great day, everyone, and enjoy celebrating the Mexican victory over a small group of French Foreign Legionnaires in a fairly insignificant battle! It’s what America is all about!

15 Comments

Kelly didn’t just go to Oregon– she went to Lincoln City, probably the most awesome place on the Oregon Coast. Especially for comics folks. Of course, she’s young, so she probably was outdoors on the beach enjoying the rare sunshine instead of prowling through dusty bookstores and thrift shops like we do.

Greg: I prefer Cannon Beach, but Lincoln City is pretty cool. Let’s face it, though – you can’t go wrong anywhere on the coast!

I’ll comment on a few things in the order they appeared…

RE: Comics Alliance– This sucks. They were my favorite comics news site and I think they had genuinely good writers. Laura Hudson’s piece about sexism in the New 52 back in fall ’11 was one of the best pieces of comics analysis I’ve ever read. I’ll have to find a new comics new site to check daily.

RE: GoT Power Rankings– Thanks for linking to these, I’ve had fun writing them. As to binge watching, I think there are shows it’s better for and shows it isn’t. With both GoT and Mad Men (the two best shows on TV), I began by binge watching them and now I watch them week to week. And I have to say, I much prefer the latter. Of course there’s the obvious “being a part of the conversation” aspect of it that I love, as it’s kind of essential to contemporary entertainment criticism. But even more so, I’ve found that these are both shows where having time to dwell on the characters is actually an essential part of the viewing experience. I generally consider Season 5 of Mad Men to be the most artistically ambitious season of television history (which is different than the most intellectually ambitious season of television history–that would be seasons 3 & 4 of The Wire), and watching that season week to week was a very important part of digesting it. Episodes like Far Away Places, which was structured like an acid trip, would lose too much by being bookended with two other episodes as part of a viewing binge. Thematically, the episodes are too rich to be seen as anything other than self-contained works. Without spoiling anything about this season of GoT, the character metamorphosis that Jaime Lannister is going through sort of demands to be seen slowly, where the nuances can be picked out and thoughtfully considered.

But this isn’t true for everything. Most network shows are better in binge-watching, as is a show like the Walking Dead, where the terrible pace of some of the stories feel infinitely worse when dragged out over weeks than it would over days. I would prefer to binge watch Walking Dead, but feel that I can’t because the show’s ridiculous popularity would make spoilers too difficult to avoid (and surprises are, IMO, one of the show’s only real qualities at this point).

RE: 80′s Don Draper– This is amazing, thank you so much for putting it on my radar.

RE: Chris Broussard– I have no problem with this. Of course I believe he is totally wrong in his views, but I don’t think people ought to be offended by it. He dictated his views in a professional and non-offensive (or, as non-offensive as an intolerant view can be) manner, he didn’t offer his views for no reason (he was asked about them), and his views don’t/shouldn’t affect his job performance in any way. The only reason to be mad at Chris Broussard is if he’s a shitty sports reporter. People have to remember that dissenting views–even wrong ones–are still allowed in this country, and the voicing of them is an important, even if frequently unfortunate, part of freedom. All we can ask is that people be respectful in expressing their individualities and opinions.

However, I do think it’s ridiculous that ESPN asked him about his views on air and ran with it. It’s of no pertinence to anything. But, the problem with a 24/7 sports network is that it’s difficult to talk about controversies when there aren’t any. Occasionally, those controversies have to be manifested. Greg, I both agree and disagree about ESPN. I agree that their journalism and reliance on argumentative rhetoric is sometimes troubling, but I disagree that this means they’re a bad network. They have flaws, but also many attributes. And they bankrolled and launched Grantland, which is my favorite website and my dream job, so I certainly think they do some things well.

RE: Phillies–I had always heard that the Cincinnati Reds were the oldest franchise in baseball, which was why they play at home on opening day every year. Can anyone clear this up?

Without double checking, pretty sure Reds started in 1869, before the Major Leagues even existed, while Chicago started in 1876.

Daniel and Philip: Yeah, dang, I forgot the Reds. DANG IT! I used to know that, but now I am old and senile. The Braves are older than the Phillies, too, but they don’t count because currently they’re a horrible horrible team. HORRIBLE! (Well, good on the field, but any team that employed Larry Jones for over 15 years is horrible!!!!)

Daniel: I see your points, but I absolutely hate forgetting things from earlier episodes, and as I don’t keep things on the DVR, I don’t go back and re-watch things too often. So I like binge-watching, even though I recognize the enjoyment of letting things simmer. The occasional episode that requires some meditation doesn’t overcome the fun of cramming them all in. If I had more time to re-watch stuff, I’d probably watch them individually a few times, but I don’t. And I managed to keep this entire split season of The Walking Dead on my DVR without any spoilers. It was hard, but I did it!!!!

Yeah, I have no problem with Broussard saying what he said, even though I disagree with him. Someone ought to ask him about the other NBA players, though, just to make sure he’s actually consistent. Consistency – wouldn’t that be nice?

Yeah, I’m mexican and I still don’t understand why the 5th of May is such a big deal in USA.
(also, in the end, we still got a French Emperor, so I don’t really know why we celebrate)

Captain Haddock

May 6, 2013 at 8:20 am

As a non-American, can someone explain to me why this Tim Tebow fellow is so popular with ESPN

Spuky: One word: ALCOHOL. Americans rarely need an excuse to drink, but if we have one, all the better!

Captain Haddock: It’s very puzzling. Skip Bayless, who bloviates for ESPN, loves Tim Tebow, and when he ranted about him on his television show, the ratings went up, so ESPN assumed that everyone loved Tebow even though it might have been that everyone wanted to watch Skip Bayless make an idiot of himself (which is really the only reason to watch Skip Bayless). So they piled on, and it got insane. I’m sure there are other reasons, but I do know that when Bayless went into full Tebow-love mode, the ratings went up, and ESPN isn’t that stupid!

It’s kind of frightening how relieved I am that FunkyWatch will continue.

Steven Seagal does make everything better. SCIENCE! Definitely going to copy that phrase…

Agreed, Under Siege just got even better. Oh how I wish there were more Steven Seagal to watch. Thanks for being on the lookout Greg! How’d you find that?

Anyone planning on watching his next movie, Deadly Crossing?

Mitch: I read that movie blog pretty much every day. They have a lot of weird stuff there!

Dan: The problem with Seagal is that my wife absolutely hates him and refuses to be in the room if he’s on the television. I wouldn’t mind sitting down and watching another ridiculous Seagal movie, but she’s really, really opposed to them. If I catch his movies in the middle of the day or when she’s out, I’ll watch them, but they’re often hard to find!

I saw the EU release of the movie and loved it! Same classic badass action you always look for in Seagal. The movie has a U.S. Redbox release later this month! If you’re a Seagal fan, definitely give it a watch.

I just rented Deadly Crossing as a new release from our local Redbox! Glad to see others are also still interested in Seagal these days. Hope he keeps making new films!

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