Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Political Message of the Star Wars Holiday Special


Okay, I finally wrote up my thoughts on the Star Wars Holiday Special and its message about the fragility of democracy. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Beers and axe-throwing apparently mix

We've done the escape room. Now we can try this the next time someone has a birthday to celebrate.

(Also, I feel that whoever came up with "Canadian backyard shenanigans" for the sub-headline should get a Pulitzer.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Ballad of Porkins


This short essay on the life of Porkins contains so much beauty. Excerpt:
Porkins’s life will be a lonely one. He will work. He will paint his Warhammer miniatures. He will chat about fandom with his few weird friends. And in time, he will die more or less unmourned. 
Then everything changes. The world falls apart. Actually, all the worlds fall apart. Suddenly the Empire is at war. There is a Rebellion. And Porkins meets his moment. 
Porkins could never make it in a real military. But the Rebel Alliance is not a real military. The Rebel Alliance is a scrap-heap outfit that needs anything and anyone it can get. It needs awkward fat autodidacts who have spent their entire adult lives as involuntary celibates, poring over the proper employment of the Incom fighter series in exactly the sort of engagements the Alliance now encounters on world after world.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Politics of Star Wars at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Self-promotion time: I will be giving a talk on the Politics of Star Wars as part of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art's "Any Three Things" lecture series. They're pairing me up with someone who does electric guitar loops and someone who makes giant pom poms. I don't know how this works.

Thursday, June 15th, 7-8:30PM. Tickets available here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spicer goes all in

This may have been the best response to Sean Spicer's Hitler commentary on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"The dragon saves the town."

Even if you have only a dim idea of what Dungeons & Dragons is or how a D&D game works, the #GOPDnD Twitter stream is comedy gold, imagining how Trump and his party might be inserted into a game. A couple of articles summarizing it are at Gizmodo and Distractify.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Suggestions for 2018

I'm dropping these here so I don't forget them.

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Yacht Rock

All twelve episodes of Yacht Rock collected in one spot. I think this is one of the underappreciated gems of online comedy. It's worth watching them sequentially (and contemporaneously). Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Yacht Rock. And here's the series on YouTube:

Yacht Rock 1

Yacht Rock 2

Yacht Rock 3

Yacht Rock 4

Yacht Rock 5

Yacht Rock 6

Yacht Rock 7

Yacht Rock 8

Yacht Rock 9

Yacht Rock 10

Yacht Rock 11

Yacht Rock 12

Monday, February 6, 2017

Coates on Obama

A bit more from Ta-Nehisi Coates to round out this week's book club meeting. If you haven't read it, Coates' piece in The Atlantic assessing the Obama presidency is profound, especially in his efforts to reconcile Obama's innate optimism with the outcome of the 2016 election. For more on this same topic, listen to Coates' interview with Ezra Klein.

Punching Nazis

And I'm not referring to Nazis who engage in punching, but rather to the activity of hitting Nazis with fists. The question du jour is whether Captain America should punch Nazis and what would Jack Kirby think of a Cap who did not. Steven Attewell has some thoughts.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Prince Jones

Prince Jones plays a not insignificant part in Between the World and Me, this month's book club book. I was living and working in DC back in 2000 when he was shot and killed by PG County police. The killing dominated news in DC for quite a while, so I thought I'd go back and dig up some of the stories for context. The one I recall best is this article from the Washington City Paper, the DC alternative weekly. That article is contemporaneous with the shooting. A year later, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote this article for the Washington Monthly, in which he takes a deeper look at policing in PG County. Finally, two years after the incident, the City Paper published an additional article with significant new facts gleaned from depositions given by the police officers involved in the shooting. Read together, it's a deeply depressing catalog of race and policing that underscores what I take to be Coates' pessimism about whether America will ever accord black men equal respect, both culturally and legally.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Obama Era

Following up on our conversation last night, here is a link to the Atlantic series on The Obama Era. It contains both Ta-Nehisi Coates interviews with President Obama, his article on Obama's blackness, and the response I mentioned (authored by Tressie McMillam Cottom). There's also some additional articles. The whole series is both excellent and heartbreaking.

Cthulu/Special Forces

As I mentioned last night, here is a link to my pal's military/Lovecraftian books on Amazon.  They're cheap, and the $ goes to a good cause.  Also, if you do read, feel free to leave a review.  He also has a few books on a conspiracy to start World War I, if you're interested in that.  Be careful googling "Sean Michael O'Dea" however, as there is another writer by the same name who writes bondage fiction. You know, NSFW.

SPOOk: Alpha by [O'Dea, Sean Michael]

Monday, January 9, 2017

Phoenix Jones, eat your heart out

Portland has a superhero, and it's the most Portlandish superhero you could imagine. It's...the Unipiper.

Just watch the video, all right?


[Update: did some research and apparently this guy's been around for a while.]