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Sunday brunch: Links for the week of 12-18 May 2013

Weird. I thought I had more links this week. Oh well – they’re still fun!

COMICS!

Just for fun here’s the four-page, connected action scene from Steranko’s Nick Fury. Dang, that’s an amazing comic.

This is an interesting post about the Silver Age and its creators with a lot of links to other places, including the Howard Chaykin quote that started it all. It’s not that interesting that several Silver Age creators didn’t like each other, but stories about the comics industry of the past are always fascinating, even if they make Mark Evanier sad.

Brian Hibbs writes about how much he hates mini-series. As a retailer, that is. He concentrates on Big Two mini-series, but I wonder if it’s any different for other companies? I mean, some things just don’t need an ongoing series, and Hibbs makes the point that graphic novels do even worse than mini-series, so that’s not a solution. Man, comics retailing has to suck sometimes.

POP CULTURE!

Don’t make fun of renowned novelist Dan Brown! I actually talked about Dan Brown with two different people this week, which is two more times in a week that I usually talk about Dan Brown. I have read The Da Vinci Code and thought it was mildly entertaining, but I’ve never felt the need to read any other Dan Brown books. I guess he has a new book out that everyone is going ga-ga about?

This is an interesting application of the Hawkeye Initiative. Of course, you can’t post something like that and not expect a backlash, but that’s what comments sections are for! The only thing I wonder about is what the person involved wanted to achieve. If it was that men deserve to be exploited as much as women, then, yay? But it’s still an interesting story.

This is an interesting list about why ten pilots got rejected when they seemed to have good buzz. I’m not sure if the reasons are all true, but if they are, they shine an interesting light into the “mediocre rules all” mindset of network television executives. As for The Sixth Gun … they claim it’s because NBC is trying desperately to be like CBS. Good luck with that, NBC.

The cult of Benedict Cumberbatch explains why it’s the strongest one on the Internet. Maybe. It’s still a fun collection.

The Bea Arthur nude painting sells for $1.9 million. Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t click that link unless you want to see something you can never unsee!!!!

George Takei responds to anti-gay people with hand-written notes. They’re very funny. When do you think Takei become the King of the Internet? Show your work! The most depressing thing about the anti-gay people are how young they are. Man, that’s just sad.

HISTORY/SOCIOLOGY/POLITICS!

This past Monday was the 28th anniversary of the MOVE disaster in Philadelphia. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, that was the day – 13 May 1985 – when the mayor of Philadelphia and its police force decided to bomb a house in their own city. The MOVE case is much more complicated than that – read more about it here – and the members of MOVE were certainly not the saints that many people made them out to be, but it’s kind of hard to see through all that when the ultimate fact is that the police dropped a bomb on the house and let it burn, killing almost everyone inside (including children) and destroying over 60 homes (because the fire quickly burned out of control). Let me tell you, for people living in the environs of Philadelphia on that day (including yours truly), it remains a bizarre abuse of power by a fairly corrupt police force.

This is a fairly snarky and even self-evident graduation address, but it’s somewhat funny and I suppose it should be said to all those college graduates who think they’re going to fall into their dream job and house at 23 years old.

This could probably go in the category below, but I figured I’d put it here: a Florida teenager got expelled from school and faces criminal charges for being gay. If you think that’s ridiculous, read the story. Here’s the Facebook page for the girl, and the first link takes you to the whole story (granted, from the girl’s mother’s point of view, but still). Many people have tried to make this about “age of consent” because the girl in question was only expelled once she turned 18 and her girlfriend is 15, but I’m not sure if that holds water. First of all, according to the girl’s mother, they had one sexual experience, but it sounds like that the girl hasn’t had much contact with the other since she turned 18, so if they were both under 18, there’s no age-of-consent problem. Second of all, Florida appears to have close-in-age exemptions for situations like this, although that link doesn’t tell what they are. I totally get where the people arguing from an “age of consent” standpoint are coming from – when I taught high-schoolers, we had plenty of underage girls getting pregnant, and very often the boys were over 18, but no one seemed to care. Arizona does not have close-in-age exceptions, but very often these girls were getting pregnant with the tacit approval of their parents, so what are you going to do? So I understand that concern, but it really doesn’t seem to be the case here. This seems to be a case of parents not being able to handle that their daughter might be gay and lashing out at the girl who “converted” her. The fact that the school board and the district attorney seems to be going along with it is awful. Welcome to the 21st century, everyone!

HORRIBLE PEOPLE!

Here’s a story about rich people hiring handicapped people at Disney so they don’t have to wait in line. That provides a link to original story, by the way. I’m not sure if these people are the most despicable people on the planet, but they’re close.

SPORTS!

I don’t really care about Derrick Rose at all, but an old friend of mine, Allen Wallace, tore him a new one with regard to the fact that he doesn’t seem to want to come back from an injury even though he’s been medically cleared. Derrick Rose would probably say, “Willis Reed? Dude was cray-cray, man!”

That’s all for this week, everyone. I hope you’re enjoying Ho Chi Minh’s birthday – you know you love him as much as I do!!!!

15 Comments

Greg, you rock, but using the C-word, uh, DOESN’T.

The C-word in a vacuum, maybe. What about the C-P phrase, though?

Paul: I’ve become less of a stickler with regard to it, mainly because some people have basically given me permission to use it. It IS just a word, after all. But I still won’t use it that often, because I still don’t like it very much. I just find that phrase hilarious, and let’s be honest – people who hire handicapped people just to jump the line are really awful people, so I think it applies.

feel bad for both the girls involved. Just dreadful and childish on part of the younger girl’s parents. They’ve only made things worse.

Also, I got to confess I went a little nuts in that comment thread about the Sexy Hawken controversy. I really think that one guy who wouldn’t give up was grinding a misogynistic axe, and I just couldn’t stop watching him dig the hole.
And a good time was had by all.

JRC: Oh yeah, I saw your handle there quite often. That dude was going to town, and it was fun to read the back-and-forth between him and you and the others. A good time was indeed had by all!

I wonder if my dad still has T-shirts some cop was selling at the time of the MOVE bombing. (My dad was a member of said police force at the time)

Re: the MOVE bombing, I recommend this book about Philadelphia: THE COP WHO WOULD BE KING.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51l5aQhQO9L.jpg

I’m not a Chicago fan or anything but people ripping on Derrick Rose need to stop. Bill Simmons nailed it on the head when he pointed to the example of Gilbert Arenas. That man came back too early injury after injury. His career was ruined by it. Rose is playing it safe (and smart) by not playing this season at all.

The Disney thing is ludicrous. The worst part is that I’m not surprised at all to see rich people take advantage of those less fortunate. I see it way too often.

Finally, good job Florida. You’re really showing those deviants what-for. Thank god you’re here. Maybe you could show Arizona some tricks?

I will continue to make fun of Dan Brown, because Dan Brown is an awful writer.

Bill: This is why I would hate to be a cop. We know the Philly police force was corrupt, but I’m sure the vast majority of cops weren’t, and I can’t imagine trying to be an honest cop when you know others are not, especially if you don’t want to rat them out. It has to be hard.

Mike: Ah, Frank Rizzo. What a fun guy.

P. Boz: I think the point about Rose is more that he won’t even suit up and at least give the other team something to think about even though he’s medically cleared to play and has been for some time. There’s a balance between making sure you’re healthy and keeping the respect of your teammates, and I wonder if Rose has lost some of the respect in the locker room. I agree that the “tough guy” mentality of athletes often works against them, but it seems that Rose is taking the opposite tack to its extreme.

Yeah, whenever I think Arizona is the craziest state in the country, some other state manages to raise the bar a bit. Now we’ll have to see what our legislature and governor come up with next to seize the title back!

Greg-

I’m sorry, but everything your friend wrote about Derrick Rose is completely crazy.

There are several factors to consider.

1. As P. Boz brought up, the specter of Gilbert Arenas (and Grant Hill, and Penny Hardaway, and several others) hangs over the league. When you have a major knee or ankle injury, that’s not something you hurry back from. As Simmons has pointed out, coming back isn’t purely about when you’re physically ready, it’s also about when you’re mentally ready. You have to believe your knee can go back to doing what it used to do. Rose’s game is almost purely built around his speed and ability to fly through traffic and get to the rim. It’s Iverson-like in that way. If he doesn’t have the mental confidence that his knee is ready to do that again, then he isn’t ready to play. Rose isn’t the type of player that can find ways to be effective by clearing out for crafty pull-up jumpers, he needs the speed and agility and the belief that his knees can provide that.

2. Rose is only 6 seasons out of high school. He’s 23 or 24 years old. Ideally, he’ll be a star player for the Bulls for the next 10-12 years. This isn’t a decision about how to help his team right now, it’s a decision about how to help his team for the next decade. McHale played the ’87 playoffs on a broken foot and it seems glorious and warrior-like, but in hindsight, was it the best call? The Celtics still lost, McHale was never the same (he still walks funny), and that was the beginning of the end for the Celtics. I suspect Rose is looking at stuff like that.

3. The debate about whether he could have helped the Bulls is a ridiculous one. In 2011, when the Bulls were at full strength, Miami plowed through them in the Eastern Conference Finals. And Miami in 2013 is better than Miami was in 2011, while the Bulls aren’t as good and were missing Deng. And if Rose had come back for the series, it’s not as though he would have immediately looked like the ’11 MVP again. Coming back takes time. There’s rust. The notion that Rose could have turned the tide in the series is honestly insane. When Willis Reed came back in game seven of the ’70 finals, that’s because it was game seven of the finals. This is the second round. The risk versus reward is worth it when you’re talking about being 48 minutes away from a title. When you’re a month and 15-20 games away, it’s not the same debate. not even close.

People are supposed to learn from the mistakes of the past. Citing previous examples of guys risking their careers to play only serves to illustrate why guys should be smarter now. If the Bulls were serious title contenders and they just needed a tiny push, this might be a different debate, but that’s not the case. They were a team decimated by injury that managed to bother the champs a little, but ultimately lost pretty handily. Making an impulsive decision that shows no regard for the long-term doesn’t help alter that team’s destiny, it only jeopardizes it.

4. And for your friend to say that the Bulls should trade Rose because of this is the single most ludicrous thing he wrote. At any given moment, there are somewhere between 5-12 true franchise players in the NBA. A lot of franchises go decades without having one. Every historical instance of a team trading a franchise player has been a mistake that took years to recover from. So your friend thinks Chicago should trade Rose because there’s a minute chance that he *might* be a pussy? Five years ago people thought Dirk was a pussy, then he won a title. Two years ago people thought LeBron was a pussy, now he looks like the most dominant athlete any sport has seen in 20 years. Everyone looks like the guy that can’t win when it counts until they win when it counts. Everyone looks like the guy that will fold until they don’t. Right now, Rose might look like the guy afraid to get his hands dirty, but if he still looks like that in five years, I’ll be shocked. Bulls better hope he’s still in a Chicago jersey when he’s leaving a trail of playoff bodies in his wake. History shows there’s a 100% chance of them regretting it if they trade him. But I can’t imagine they would.

Daniel: Well, as I noted, I don’t really care about Rose one way or the other, but I do think there’s something to be said for being a leader in the locker room, and I have no idea how Rose’s teammates view his decision, and neither does my friend or anyone else, except for the people in the locker room. While basketball is different because of the small number of players on the floor and the team, getting rid of a superstar isn’t always the worst move to make, especially if that superstar has lost the respect of the other players. So I don’t think the idea is ridiculous, but I don’t think I would do it. I’m not sure if Rose is as elite as other people think he is, but then again, I don’t follow basketball as much as I do some of the other sports.

His biggest defenders have been his teammates. Joakim Noah, in particular, had a vociferous defense of Rose’s decision. It comes down to only one person truly knowing when Rose is ready to play basketball and that’s Rose. As Noah basically said, everyone else can fuck off.

The one thing I think it is fair to criticize Rose for is that he should have been more upfront about the fact that he clearly was not going to be playing in the playoffs. The hints that he “might” be able to play were bullshit. He knew he wasn’t going to play, so he should have said as much.

But waiting until he’s 100% is completely reasonable for an injury with high rates of reoccurring injury. It hurts like heck to play with Plantar fasciitis, but it is not going to do any longterm damage to you to play with it. So while it is impressive that Noah is grinding it out with Plantar fasciitis, his career is not in danger by playing with it. If it were, he would be sitting, too.

Deng, meanwhile, had to explain that he had a freakin’ SPINAL TAP when fans were getting on him for not playing. So you can’t take fan reaction to your injury seriously. You have to just go by whether you feel you can play.

And yes, while the criticisms of Rose are silly, the idea of TRADING him is so dumb that I can only hope that it was included for the ol’ “Say something outrageous so people will link to my article” reason.

I agree with Brian, I do think Rose could have been more up front if he clearly knew he wouldn’t be playing, but that’s really the only legitimate criticism of his actions that I can see.

And I understand the notion that if a superstar has lost the respect of his teammates than trading him might not be the worst idea. Howard and Carmelo are recent examples, as they had both more or less quit on their former teams. But even if a good argument can be made for why Denver and Orlando “had” to trade them, it’s pretty difficult to argue that either of those teams are better off. You’re always a small step or two away from seriously competing for a title when you have a superstar. When you don’t, you’re a superstar away from seriously competing for a title.

And as to how elite Rose is, it’s like this… There’s LeBron, and then there are a handful of guys who are as good as any non-LeBron person can be. Durant probably leads that group, but Rose (assuming he comes back at full strength) is right there with him. Then you have Westbrook, Paul, Carmelo, Wade, Curry, Harden and arguably a few others. Keep in mind that Rose won the league MVP in what could have been his senior year of college. He really is that good.

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