Should Oracle Stay in Her Wheelchair?

It seemed to me the character of Barbara Gordon was more interesting (and important to the fictional universe) as Oracle than as Batgirl. The editorial reasoning seems to be if comic book science can heal Batman's spinal cord, it's silly to keep Barbara in a wheelchair.

Why not have both? If they'da asked ME, I would have given her a cybernetic body, like a drone plane, that she could inhabit as Batgirl, while still living day-to-day as chair-bound Oracle. And Barbara as a wounded vet, so to speak, of the "war" that started in Crime Alley has more resonance, more skin in the game for the reader.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your American Taliban

Rick Perry and the New Apostolic Reformation have downgraded all non-Republicans to soulless demon status. They are not speaking metaphorically. This makes anything they do to achieve power justifiable, as those who oppose them are not even human.

Their "Seven Mountains Mandate" calls for religious control of business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. They believe that God, or their idea of God, must take "dominion" over the political and legal structures of the United States.

Welcome again to Weimar America, land of Glorious Godfrey.

Commonplace Book: Readings, August 2011

“The plague of publishing these days is to mistake ubiquity for significance.”
-- Arts and Letters Daily and Alexander Nazaryan on Knotted: How the Necktie Changed the World. and other such titles

“I was turning 40 and thinking, Oh dear, I'm probably going to have one of those midlife crisis things which always just bore the hell out of everybody. So it would probably be better if, rather than just having a midlife crisis, I just went completely screaming mad and declared myself to be a magician. That would, at least, be more colorful. So, I announced, on the night of my 40th birthday party — probably after more beers than I should have had — that, ''from this point on, I'm going to become a magician.'' And then the next morning you have to think, Oh, what have I said now? Are we going to have to go through with this? So I had to go about finding out what a magician was and what they did.
.... The mystics all seem to want to go straight to the Godhead; the magicians tend to be more curious. They want to explore all of the other aspects of the universe. For me, there is very little difference between magic and art. To me, the ultimate act of magic is to create something from nothing: It's like when the stage magician pulls the rabbit from the hat. And then you can turn that idea into a film, a book, a painting, a piece of music, something that other people can experience. That in itself is stunning. And I suppose this is one of the reasons I got into magic, because I was tired of ducking that question that people always ask writers, which is, '’Where do you get your ideas from?’''

-- Alan Moore

“my family use to go see him [“Macho Man” Randy Savage] in his early career at hazard ky. my aunt loved leaping lenny. they wrested one time and the loser had to painted yellow.of couse macho man aunt jumped up and ran to the ring.she was half way under the bottom ring where lenny was laying so she grabbed hold of him.she was calling macho names.he said come on old woman.she ended up with yellow paint all over her and two police officers had her by the legs trying to pull her out of the ring. everybody there was dying laughing at her. she almost went to jail, but macho man talked to the police to keep her from going to jail, so he was a good man.”
-- comment by msireta on news of Randy (Poffo) Savage’s death by natural causes

“Just by virtue of walking into a theater to see a movie called Transformers, I'm fully agreeing with just dispensing with a the laws of physics and accepting that nobody can tell which $200,000 car is a Transformer, for the same reason that James Bond is a secret agent who tells everyone his full name and drives around in the flashiest car he can. The problem is that it doesn't stop there. The movie brings things up as major plot points that are immediately contradicted, and even the internal logic of a movie about giant robots from space isn't consistent. ... You can make every allowance for it, you can talk about how it's about giant robots so it doesn't have to have logic or how it's for kids and they're dumb anyway, and you're still left with the core problem. Nothing makes sense, even from one scene to the next, and everyone's an asshole, so there's no reason to be interested or to care who lives or who dies.”

-- Chris Sims


Guillermo del Toro: In the next 10 years, we're going to see all the forms of entertainment—film, television, video, games, and print—melding into a single-platform "story engine." The Model T of this new platform is the PS3. The moment you connect creative output with a public story engine, a narrative can continue over a period of months or years. It's going to rewrite the rules of fiction.

Wired: It sounds like you're talking about an entirely new form of storytelling.
Guillermo del Toro:Think about the way oral tradition became written word—how what we know about Achilles was written many, many years after it made its way around the world with different names and different types of heroes. That can happen when you allow content to keep propagating itself through different kinds of platforms and engines—when you permit it to be retold with a promiscuous form of mythology. You see it when people create their own avatars in games and transfigure their game worlds.

Wired: How is that interactivity going to change Hollywood—and the way directors like you make movies?
Guillermo del Toro: [Legendary B-movie producer] Samuel Arkoff once told me there are only 10 great stories. That's where the engine and promiscuity come in. Hollywood thinks art is like Latin in the Middle Ages—only a few should know it, only a few should speak it. I don't think so.

-- Guillermo del Toro in Wired


“Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa are a libertarian's paradise. The region as a whole is a low-tax utopia....Rather than unleashing entrepreneurship, this low rate of taxation means that basic public services like health, education, and pothole filling are starved of funding. The physical infrastructure on which a modern economy rests like roads, courts and the police are missing....people are free to protect their own families, and indeed they are forced to.”

-- Francis Fukuyama, The Origins of Political Order