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PJM Lifestyle

10 Guaranteed Methods To Lose a Man, as Seen on The Bachelor

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 - by Megan Fox

It seems that almost everything on television these days is reality entertainment. While most of it is completely unwatchable (Jersey Shore and Housewives from Anywhere), there are a few that some of us can’t stop watching (even though we wish we could.) For me, it’s The Bachelor. I’ve been watching this insipid show from the very first season and the inevitable spin-offs like The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad. I can’t help myself and the only explanation that seems to make sense is the escapism of watching 25 women and one jackass make fools of themselves every Monday night.

Maybe it makes me feel better about me or perhaps it’s the only way I stay connected to pop culture considering the rest of my life is filled with homeschooling, gardening, moon-shining, writing, and other 18th century pastimes. Mostly though, I have a desire to reach through the screen and grab these women by the forearms and shake them. It’s no wonder they’re all single. Almost every one of them make the most common and most avoidable mistakes while trying to land a man. Yes, I’ve made them, you’ve made them…who hasn’t? But the question is, why do women continue to make the same blunders that only provoke men to run away screaming? Sisters, learn from others’ experience! The following are 10 solid ways to lose a man.

10. Drink too much

Alcohol is not your friend in a first-impression situation. On The Bachelor, the production staff liquors up a room full of women to see the fun that will ensue. Alcohol is the most important set requirement on The Bachelor. Many contestants have reported that the first cocktail party is longer than 5 hours with no food and nothing to drink but booze. This combination leads to the explosive moments we love to hate including the over-emotional break-downs and cat fights. Without the influence of the demon rum, it would be a much more boring affair. If at all avoidable, do not drink on a first date! First of all, you may not know enough about your date to know if you can trust him in a situation when you are intoxicated. Also, drunk girls are annoying. They do things like repeat themselves and tuck their dress into their underwear on a trip to the bathroom. While memorable, this is not the impression you want to leave with your date (or on YouTube).

More important than impressing your date, however, is staying alive and unmolested. Know your limits with alcohol, don’t go out on an empty stomach, and drink plenty of water. Not only will you be more fun to be around sober, you’ll also be at less risk of getting into a dangerous situation that could have been avoided. That last sentence is going to get me into trouble with faux feminists who believe even drunk girls should be safe from rape. If only we lived in such a world — but we don’t and your chances of getting home safely decrease with each drink you take. Predators target drunk girls. Period. Don’t be a victim. (See the unfortunate fate of Natalee Holloway.)

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5 Reasons Why I Can’t Wait For Skyfall, The New James Bond Movie

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 - by Chris Queen

Late last year, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond movies, announced the long-awaited 23rd film in the series: Skyfall, which is set for release November 9. Daniel Craig returns as the superspy, and Sam Mendes is directing. The first plot synopsis reads:

“Bond’s loyalty to M (Dame Judi Dench) is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.”

In conjunction with Skyfall’s production, the producers and studio have updated the official James Bond website and developed a presence for the franchise on Facebook and Twitter. It’s easier than ever for 007 fans to geek out. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the film series, and Wilson has promised plenty of web tributes to mark the occasion.

As a longtime Bond fan, I’m excited to present five reasons why I can’t wait to see Skyfall. We’ll start with the most obvious reason.

5. It’s Been Four Years Since Quantum Of Solace.

It’s hard to believe that the last 007 movie came out during the Bush administration. For even a casual fan, a four-year wait is far too long for a James Bond fix. In the four years since Quantum Of Solace, MGM nearly completely went under, threatening the entire existence of the 007 franchise, until Sony bailed them out, rescuing James Bond from certain doom.

In the last half century, the only time we’ve gone longer without a Bond film was the six years between 1989’s License To Kill and 1995’s Goldeneye. I think the reason for that long wait was because the world needed to cleanse itself of the hideous Timothy Dalton movies.

The last four years have been a period of rumors, false starts, and anxious waiting for Bond geeks like me. The waiting is almost over, and November 9 can’t come soon enough.

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2 Photos of a Mummy Chasing Us Up an Escalator Yesterday

Monday, February 6th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle


Of course it was just a guy in a suit but he was still creepy. (Rather than participate in Superbowl festivities like normal people April and I decided to go to Universal Studios Hollywood. I never cared for the Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser but the ride and performers at Universal more than make up for having to sit through all three during my film critic years.)

And all the Star Wars obsessives still furious with Kathy Shaidle and me are now invited to make fun of my family’s geeky past time of frequenting Disney Land and Universal Studios on the weekends.


David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media and writes a post each day on news and politics at PJ Tatler and culture and entertainment at PJ Lifestyle. He can be contacted with feedback and story tips at DaveSwindlePJM[@]gmail.com and on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He enforces commenting guidelines on his posts — rude, off topic and ad hominem comments will usually be deleted but for this post he’ll endure clever take-downs as penance for the sin of allowing Star Wars and geek culture to be mocked.

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5 Comic Books You’re Waiting, Wanting, Begging, Longing to See on TV

Monday, February 6th, 2012 - by Hannah Sternberg

Comic books (or graphic novels to those who care) have had plenty of big-screen opportunities, especially in the superhero genre. But many of today’s cutting-edge, literary-minded comics would make even better television. Just as comics have grown more serious and respected in the last few years, so has television – no longer just the bastard child of film, television is now an art in itself, and like comics its writers tell long-form stories that explore characters with depth and complexity. Here are five comic book series that would never fit into the standard two-hour feature film treatment, but would make killer TV.

5: Sandman

Neil Gaiman’s seminal 10-volume series seems to defy adaptation. It tells the story of ten god-like creatures who represent the passions that push and pull all conscious life; the main character is the personification of dreams, Morpheus, a tortured wanderer growing weary of his immortality. Surrounding him is an epically sprawling cast of human, animal, and mythical creatures from the past and present.

Accompanying Gaiman’s storyweaving is a phalanx of artists: instead of maintaining a uniform artistic vision throughout the series, Sandman featured a succession of guest artists who illustrated each storyline in their own distinct styles.While many fans of Sandman will likely claim that it’s Gaiman’s inventive storytelling and larger-than-life characters that make this television-worthy material, I’d hold that it’s actually the art that sets it apart from all the other epic fantasy that has been hitting screens lately. Because Sandman is as much about the look as it is about the story, it would be a great opportunity to experiment in a new form of television art: instead of having a team of revolving directors step in to direct episodes in a single style, let a series of directors take each storyline and tell it in their own way. The actors could unify the series, but the visuals would feature the same kaleidescope that made the original comic so unique.

4: Meridian

On Demetria, islands of land float in the air above a planet of uninhabitable toxic oceans. City-states built on these islands engage in a medieval push-and-tug of wars and negotiations based on trade and transportation. In a delightfully steampunk flourish, the main mode of transportation between the island city-states are flying galleons which harness the wind in sails for propulsion and steering, while anti-gravity engines keep them afloat in the air.

Meridian‘s publisher went out of business before the story could reach a satisfying conclusion. However, it lasted long enough to prove its potential as a fantasy that could appeal to both young adults and grown-ups, with a light touch. It also had the potential to evolve over several seasons, with a plot that offered many opportunities for development and a solid core cast of characters. The main character, Sephie, is a strong, intelligent female character who avoids both fantasy stereotypes of ditzy damsel and sexy Amazon. Before the series’ cut off, the story already had several promising twists, including mistaken reports of a death, love triangles, and palace intrigue. And any fan of the original, truncated series wouldn’t mind seeing it finally brought to a conclusion on screen.

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Queens of All the Earth: Discovering the Hidden Power of the Millennial Woman

Saturday, February 4th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Olivia Somerset does not join her peers at Cornell as students flood the campus in the fall. The opportunity to take the next step toward adulthood unleashed a nervous breakdown. For weeks she lies bedridden. Eventually her older sister Miranda and their feminist anthropology professor mother coax Olivia back into the real world. But she remains psychologically broken.

Miranda has the solution: she books a room at a hostel in Barcelona for two. An opportunity to take in the unique architecture and cuisine would help Olivia “find herself” and emerge from her shell. And Big Sister would be along to protect her and guide her from site to site. By the time the trip was over she’d be more than ready to start up again at college, as was expected of her.

Once the travelers arrive in Spain, the plan begins to unwind. Miranda reserved a private room for two but a mix-up drops them into a crowded group room. Then Mr. Brown and his teenage son Greg introduce themselves and volunteer to switch with them.

While the gesture is appreciated, the Browns are met with suspicion by cynical Big Sister Miranda. What kind of person would be so friendly and altruistic? They must be planning something. Also staying at the hostel is a hard-drinking travel writer named Lenny (a woman with the real name Eleanor) who fuels the rejection of the vacationing minister and his brooding son.

Meanwhile, Olivia listens to the warnings from these older women but remains intrigued by Greg… a potential kindred spirit? Somewhat scarred and discouraged but eager to reveal the person inside to someone who cares enough to listen?


PJ Lifestyle contributor Hannah Sternberg’s debut novel Queens of All the Earth (the title comes from the E. E. Cummings poem “Orientale”) reinvents E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View. Like the classic modernist novel, nothing really “happens” over the course of Hannah’s story. A few people meet while traveling overseas and they interact. All the action is on the internal level, as characters wrestle with their self-doubt, process their conflicting emotions, and struggle to chart a new path forward. And does it ever make for a gripping read.

I’ve already praised Hannah for her novel’s gorgeous prose. On the aesthetic and entertainment levels the novel is a success. (I finished it in only a few sittings.) So today I want to highlight some of the thematic content in Queens of all the Earth and invite readers to consider Hannah’s work in the context of the literary future: now is about the time when Generation Y (those of us under 30, born in 1982 and after) are beginning to articulate our own visions of how we perceive the world and what we will contribute.

In Queens of all the Earth two women have most shaped the Millennial Olivia: her Generation X older sister Miranda and their Baby Boomer mother, the career-oriented, second-wave feminist academic.

From her Boomer mother, Olivia inherits the expectation that she will develop herself into an independent woman with a satisfying, meaningful job apart from homemaking. From her X-er Big Sister (and their hipster traveling friend Lenny) she knows the dangers of the male liberated by the sexual revolution. Beware of men: we will crush your heart and lie to you. (In their most concentrated, unforgiving form, these sentiments manifest in films like Bridesmaids which reject the possibility of men and women finding happiness together in marriage.)

Throughout their lives these have been the two dominant female influences on the women of Generation Y: Boomer moms who raised their daughters to achieve and Xer big sisters who warned them about the lies teenage boys tell to make you feel loved and the regret and self-loathing that come afterward.

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Why Men Are More Likely to Be Geeks Than Women

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Author and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff in an interview about his new graphic novel from D.C./Vertigo, A.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division, on why the worlds of video games and geek culture are so male-dominated, emphasis mine:

“I think to some extent it’s harder for the forces that be to hypnotize women the same way they hypnotize men,” Rushkoff said. “Women were just as susceptible to the marketing of objects. In the 1950s, when they started marketing to women in America after World War II and trying to increase consumption, that’s when kleptomania was first diagnosed — and it was a women’s disease, because they were so marketed to that they would go in and steal stuff from the department store. I’m not saying women are not programmable and susceptible, they are. But it tended to be more for ‘the real.’ I’m finding, at least, that boys and men are more susceptible to the attraction and hypnosis of ‘the virtual,’ whether it’s pornography or video games or ideas. They seem to be more susceptible to these abstract forms of manipulation. Maybe men are more visual and less tactile; there’s probably some old evolutionary biology reasoning for it. Men were hunting, so they had to stay at a distance; women were gathering, so they had to feel the berries in their hands. Who knows what it is, but it doesn’t seem, for the most part, that these worlds are quite as compelling in the same way to women as they are for men. They are compelling — now, the numbers are changing, and I think the number of women involved in social media is greater than the number of men. As the applications change, certainly the gender biases change as well. But this ADD video phenomenon thing does seem to be more boy than girl.”

This of course has something to do with the angry emails and comments that are still coming in from Star Wars enthusiasts more militant than I who could not stand the fact that Kathy Shaidle does not share our pop culture faith.

And to put it in terms that PJM’s regular readers may recognize: publishing Five Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks is done for the same reason why Comedy Central should allow South Park to depict the prophet Mohammed. If we can’t laugh at our idolatry then we’re in trouble.

Nobody should be emailing to complain because Kathy wrote a self-evidently hyperbolic sentence like, “Successful, mature men do not play computer games, attend ‘cons,’ and get excited about overrated science fiction movies from the 1970s.”

We all have silly hobbies. It’s very silly how regularly April and I go to DisneyLand and how much we enjoy goofy rides like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. (Kathy, have any funny mean things to say about DisneyLand obsessives?)

But even sillier than our hobbies is getting emotionally upset when others judge us for them.


David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media and writes a post each day on news and politics at PJ Tatler and culture and entertainment at PJ Lifestyle. He can be contacted with feedback and story tips at DaveSwindlePJM[@]gmail.com and on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He enforces commenting guidelines on his posts — rude, off topic and ad hominem comments will be deleted.

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SOPA WAR: Dems & Hollywood vs. GOP & Web Users?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 - by Jehuda

Stewart Baker writes at The Hollywood Reporter about Why the GOP Turned on Piracy. (via John Nolte)

Democrats are beholden to Hollywood, while Hollywood isn’t finished trying to make SOPA a reality.  And if Nancy Pelosi really means it when she says that they are going to have to “get a compromise” on SOPA, you can be sure that what will be compromised will be Internet Freedom; and not Hollywood’s IP agenda.

For better or worse, if we want Internet Freedom, we must maintain a robust Republican presence on Capitol Hill.  The SOPA war isn’t over.  It’s just getting started.

Cross-posted at The Rhetorican.

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Geek Rage: Star Wars Comments of the Day

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 - by Dave Swindle
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It looks like far too many geeks and nerds fell into Kathy Shaidle’s trap with her Five Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks article here at PJ Lifestyle. Let’s examine the wreckage in the comments:


Criticizing Joseph Campbell proves you are subhuman. You fell asleep during Star Wars, I fell asleep during your article on Star Wars. There! Life is fair!

Drop dead whoever you are.

And it looks like some of Kathy’s sharpest barbs really got under a few readers’ skin:

59. Q

The Mark Steyn, World of Warcraft line is just dirty pool. We are not all going to be Mark Steyn’s in this world. Nor will we all be paragons or captains of industry. Great men of the world or giants in any field. I am for instance an electrician, I am a very good electrician, I am considering starting on my master’s license later this year. But, that is all I am likely to ever be. And that is enough for me. It provides more than enough for me to care for myself, my family and my home. And if I spend my downtime when out of work, between one 14hr a day job and another, playing WOW and making wow jokes to my friends, what difference does it make to anyone but me? Now, don’t think for a moment that your over theme of delayed adulthood and permanent adolescence was lost on me. I am not dressing up as a night elf while living in my parent’s basement, or going to “cons”. I do understand that there is a large and growing subculture of overgrown man-children who can neither care for themselves or others. They cross all sorts of sub culture lines. From the comic book man-child to the pop culture man-child. I just think it was a bit narrow sighted to lump WOW in as a major cause. (BTW, I like Mark Steyn, and all I can say is, if he wanted, he would make a kick ass rogue. He has a way of sneaking up on ya and going for the kill.)

Others got the joke and even offered some substantive reflections on what it means to stop worshipping Star Wars:

90. erico

In 1977, I was nine years old living in a small town outside Albuquerque, passing the time wandering through the desert in and beyond the back yard looking for scorpions, stink bugs, skinks, anything really, of interest, usually finding nothing. That summer, as a treat, the family went to see Star Wars with family visiting from out of town. When Luke looked out at the double sunset on Tatooine, and the voilin strings strained away, that was me! Here on the big screen was a movie that had good guys, and bad guys, and gunfire, and adventure. Star Wars was a revelation! It seemed to comport with my nascent Christian faith, handed down to me through my parents, and the promise that there was some way to live it out in the world. Something awaited. Metaphysical bliss.

The later movies, with all the hemming and hawing on the shades of grey in the world (the growing imposition of the Campbell system), stereotypes in place of characters (much of it was originally supplied by good actors rather than the script), the loss of the sense that something was really at stake, all the endless extrapolation of different worlds, creatures, cultures, lost the thread, that there was something transcendent, and calling, in each of our futures. The system subsumed all that was once thought to be transcendent, including the force. Was it some Jungian system? Who cares. When that final piece, the force, was taken away through some materialist mumbo jumbo about mitichlorians (?) in the blood I had been broken.

And thankfully I am done with all that. My kids don’t seem so very interested in it, except that Dad was once a big fan, so they have tried to take an interest, but it isn’t lasting, because Star Wars is now just a force of culture, not of the individual, as I first received it. So I’m rather glad for the kids, for their sniffing out what is worthwhile from what is not.

“Help us Kathy Schaidle, you’re our only hope.”

And let me just lay my cards on the table as the one who edited Kathy’s piece and gave her the green light to go out of her way to say what needed to be said: I too was raised on George Lucas’s films and still wear Star Wars t-shirts. As a toddler I insisted on going to sleep each night watching the scene from Empire Strikes Back where Luke and Yoda first meet. That seems to have made an impression of sorts, as April just got me this for Christmas which I enjoy quite a bit:

We usually ride Star Tours when we go to DisneyLand and at some point I’m going to get April one of these cute Yoda backpacks where it looks like he’s holding onto your back:

But that’s about the extent of our Star Wars geeking these days.

We’re just not as geeky as we used to be during college and high school. The energy and attention that used to be focused on oddball movies and quirky hobbies now goes into our careers so someday we can expand our family beyond just the two of us and a Siberian Husky begging for homemade sushi:

Maura: "Daddy, you will share you sushi with me right now!"

Anybody else in this same boat?


David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media and writes a post each day on news and politics at PJ Tatler and culture and entertainment at PJ Lifestyle. He can be contacted with feedback and story tips at DaveSwindlePJM[@]gmail.com and on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He enforces commenting guidelines on his posts — rude, off topic and ad hominem comments will be deleted.

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5 Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 - by Kathy Shaidle

In a previous column, I noted in passing that I fell asleep during Star Wars.

I have this dim (repressed?) memory of getting dragged to see it by a high school boyfriend. (So it must have been during a theatrical re-release — I’m not that old.)

I remember:

a)    Harrison Ford = hot
b)    remarking loudly that we shouldn’t be able to hear those rocket ships or whatever they were because, as everyone knows, space is a vacuum and you can’t hear explosions or anything else.

Then I gathered my jacket around my head until the house lights came up.

I figured I was free and clear. Little did I know that, well into the next century, Star Wars detritus would be washing up onto the shores of my life each and every damn day.

I’m talking about stuff like this:

And this:

And whateverthehell this is:


Seriously: isn’t there some cancer you could be curing?

If you’re trying to make adults with refined tastes and a real religion hate your favorite movie even more, congratulations, Star Wars fans: mission accomplished.

Star Wars actually sucks. Here’s why.

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Game Review: Pro Evolution Soccer Plus OnLive

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

I have a confession to make: I’m a bit of a soccer nut. I don’t know how I got it, it certainly doesn’t run in the family. But I have the bug and that’s that.

That’s not to say that I’m a soccer or nothing kind of guy. I watch the NFL, college football and college basketball, and MLB when the playoffs arrive. But soccer usually wins out on faceoffs if there’s a good game on (I can’t stand the Italian league, that bunch of divers), and there’s no better sport to play as a video game than the beautiful game.

So my blog monastery and lair are like this: For the NFL it’s the Cowboys, for college football it’s the Longhorns, for college b-ball it’s the Tarheels, and for soccer it’s Arsenal. Gooner for life, in Arsene We Trust, and hooray to the return of King Henry. And up to now, when I play soccer as a video game it’s FIFA, always FIFA. Electronic Arts’ take on soccer has been the only game in town for quite a while.

But with Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, that could change.

Konami’s take on soccer has long been a reserve player behind EA’s FIFA, which is the biggest selling video game title on the planet. Bigger than Madden. Bigger than Call of Duty. FIFA is the king, because soccer is truly global.

For Pro Ev 2012, though, Konami has tweaked the game’s look and mechanics, and gotten a whole lot about both right. Combining Pro Ev 2012 with OnLive’s streaming game play could be a game-changer both for the game and the cloud gaming service.

The Pros of Pro Ev 2012

This game looks gorgeous. Though it doesn’t have a large number of real stadiums available to play in, the stadiums it does have look fantastic. The colors and shaders Konami used create the pitch, the players and the atmosphere look real, so much so that the first time I fired up the game on my living room TV, one of my son’s friends thought I was watching a Premiere League match and asked “Who’s playing?”

When you’re playing Pro Ev in Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium, you’ll see signage in the stands in Spanish. When you play the Asia cup in Japan, you’ll see background signage in Japanese. Play CSKA Moscow and Russian signage hangs from the railings. Play in Manchester’s Old Trafford and the the signage and chants are, well, worthy of the place. The crowds chant in their appropriate languages, too, and most teams I’ve played against on the road have crowd songs and chants individualized to those teams and nations.

Pro Ev goes to the trouble to include branding from the different cups and leagues as well, and incorporates the different cups within league campaigns. So, for instance, as I’m playing through the Spanish Liga BBVA as Real Madrid, I’m juggling league matches with the UEFA Champions league and the Spanish cup. The graphics and thematics, and stadium signage, change depending on which type of match you happen to be playing. The branding is authentic and adds a level of realism to the experience. Most of the player models look great too, as good as and in many cases better than their counterparts in FIFA 12. Gervinho’s unique haircut looks more authentic in Pro Ev than FIFA, Ronaldo looks closer to the real deal, Messi is a scruffy little goal scoring machine, Robin Van Persie looks like his speedy, angular self and John Terry looks even more like a thug. This attention to detail runs throughout the game.

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Blasphemy or Brilliance? DC Announces Watchmen Prequels

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Hat tip to my buddy Bosch Fawstin for forwarding this on to me from Newsarama:

This morning, the comic book industry reacted in extremes to the news that DC is revisiting its Watchmen universe, releasing six mini-series that serve as prequels to the long-revered — and previously untouched — Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons story.

Predictably Watchmen’s eccentric genius writer Alan Moore is displeased, noting that Moby Dick didn’t have prequels.

Newsarama emailed out for responses from various comics industry insiders. This one here from Peter David striking back at Moore is particularly clever:

When you’re talking about “creators,” I suspect you’re mostly talking about Alan Moore. David Gibbons’ judicious phrasing about the endeavor, I think, expresses a positive mindset in seeing the work as a tribute, an homage, especially when one considers that Watchmen began its creative life as an updating of the Charlton characters; if it had remained that, then Moore would have had nothing to say about ownership to begin with, “draconian” contracts or no.

I think Moore is on more slippery grounds, asserting that these prequels are DC’s simply depending upon 25 year old ideas of his, implying that it’s a sign of some sort of creative bankruptcy. Yes, Moore — whom I’ve never had the honor of meeting — is correct that there is no sequel to “Moby Dick.” But Moore’s position is odd considering he took characters created by Jules Verne and Bram Stoker and turned them into superheroes, and transformed beloved literary heroines into subjects of erotica. Does public domain automatically make one morally superior in recycling the iconic characters created by authors who are no longer around to voice their protests? Considering his Moby Dick comparison, apparently he doesn’t think so. Does the fact that it’s a corporation taking the initiative rather than a single individual automatically make the endeavor inferior? That’s a hard argument to make considering that a corporate entity desiring to utilize its properties led to “Watchmen” in the first place. The fact that Moore is so vehemently opposed to the other authors working upon his characters — characters that are pastiches of Charlton Comics creators — might tell you something about how L. Frank Baum would likely have reacted to Moore’s handling of Dorothy. And if that’s the case, people who stridently protest Watchmen prequels might want to reconsider the moral validity of their ire.

To me, DC’s announcement simply means that Alan Moore’s work has reached the iconic status of such characters as Superman and Swamp Thing, about both of whom Moore has graced us with some of the most compelling and memorable stories ever told. Let us hope that the storytelling bar that Moore has set in his own work on other people’s creations will be met — and perhaps even exceeded — by those who are now following his lead.

What could this be referring to: “transformed beloved literary heroines into subjects of erotica”? In Lost Girls Moore wrote and his future wife Melinda Gebbie illustrated a series of explicit updates of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter Pan. And now, having made pornographic versions of other writers’ creations he speaks up when his own work is reinterpreted?

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Audio Interview: Thomas Hibbs on ‘Shows About Nothing’

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

What connects seemingly disparate works such as The Silence of the Lambs, Cape Fear, Mad Men, and Seinfeld? It is the philosophy of nihilism, first popularized by Friedrich Nietzsche in the late 19th century. But in the last few decades,  how did it become the dominant worldview of Hollywood? In 1999, Dr. Thomas S. Hibbs, currently the Distinguished Professor of Ethics & Culture and Dean of the Honors College at Baylor University, wrote the original version of Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture. Last month, Baylor University released an updated version of the book, which explores shows and films that have debuted since Hibbs’ original work was published. In this half-hour interview, Hibbs discusses:

  • How post-WWII Hollywood originally explicitly rejected Nietzsche and nihilism, before ultimately embracing him with open arms.
  • Why horror movies eventually eradicated God for charming nihilists who fashion their morality as “beyond good and evil,” such as Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
  • Seinfeld: the sunny side of nihilism.
  • How man successfully threw off the encumbrances of authority and tradition only to find himself subject to new, more devious, and more intractable forms of tyranny.
  • How aesthetics came to usurp morality.
  • Mad Men’s Don Draper: the man in the gray nihilistic suit.
  • Can Hollywood move beyond nihilism?

Click below to listen to our interview:

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(29 minutes long; 27.2 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right-click here to download this show to your hard drive. Or right-click here to download the 5 MB lo-fi edition.

If your browser/Internet connection balks at the Flash player above and/or downloading the audio, click on the player below, or click here to be taken to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip.  Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

For the rest of podcasts at the PJM Lifestyle blog, start here and keep scrolling.

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