Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Implied Parallel Reality Theory of Fictional Reboots

In the mood for some utterly pointless metaphysical jive? Have I got some jive for you. To wit:
The Implied Parallel Reality Theory of Fictional Reboots.
Hear me out, OK?
Every fictional universe is a tweak on the "real" world. Implied: the tweak is as minimal as can be. Thus, Man of Steel (i.e., the latest Superman reboot) plays out in a world that resembles ours as closely as possible. It's our history (Pearl Harbor, 9-11, etc.) with Superman airbrushed into the fabric of causation. Okey-doke. Now think about it ...
Granted the age of the lead actor, Superman appeared on earth sometime in 1983, watched his foster father die about the time Twister came out, and didn't reveal himself until General Zod's invasion in 2013. This means ...
In the Man of Steel universe, Jerry Sigel and Joe Shuster didn't invent Superman in 1933.
Action Comics didn't put Superman on its cover in the issue of April 18, 1938.
George Reeves didn't play him in the 1950s TV show.
Or, for that matter, Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, Tom Welling in their respective adaptations.
More importantly ...
Jerry Seinfeld wasn't making Superman references on Seinfeld.
Granted the "minimal tweak" hypothesis, within this universe existed a Superman analog -- an Ultraman, Megaman, Badass Man or whatever -- said figure created by the Jerry Sigel and Joe Shuster of this universe, and alluded to by the Seinfeld of this universe. If you think about it, it's kind of an interesting idea.
Or maybe not.

Marty Fugate

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pacific Rim Genesis Evangelion

OK. Just caught Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim. I could just say, "Great concept. Loved it when it was Neon Genesis Evangelion. But to be fair ...
There’s a point where fictional tropes become part of the primordial stew into which writers feel free to dip their greedy spoons. Powersuits, for example. Heinlein envisioned ‘em in Starship Troopers. But the idea’s been out there so long, it’s just out there. Anime runs on powersuits, damnit. That ain't exactly stealing. Or the giant robot concept. (Strictly speaking, the giant robot powersuit concept.) It was an anime staple when director Hideaki Anno put his own slightly mocking spin on it in Neon Genesis Evangelion. (The giant robot powersuits have extension cords? Seriously?) That work was a primordial stew all its own. And -- to be unfair -- it strikes me that del Toro stuck his spoon into that stew when brewing up Pacific Rim. And that it is, exactly, stealing. If you want a recipe, take all the core concepts of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and strip away the complicated Machiavellian backstory, interlocking layers of philosophical/existential speculation and reference, and substitute a true action hero for the whiny Shinji character – and plug in a happy ending in the process. What you'll cook up is, well, something like Pacific Rim. A tasty stew, to be sure. But it tasted better the first time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

What the money wants

OK, kids. Here's a scary theory (and possible premise for SF story). Money is becoming conscious. This begs the question: What is money? OK. Let's define money as a symbolic reference frame for the actual and potential wealth of the world. Specifically: the world's available energy and potential energy within human systems. The 1s and 0s in financial data systems are analogous to the human nervous system's mapping of the physical body (and meta-awareness of control systems running the body) comprising self-awareness. Thus, at some point, all the 1s and 0s in the global financial system reach a threshold level of complexity and become SELF-AWARE. Money ceases to be an abstraction. Money is alive and has intention. Money wants something. "What does Money want?" becomes the most important question. This singularity is an ironically crass equivalent to Teilhard de Chardin's noosphere ... and, perhaps, the mark of You-Know-Who. But all things shall be numbered. And the planetary self-awareness that is Money? It'll have your number.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The bum's Rush dept.

I dreamed that Rush Limbaugh was yelling at me. The setting was a Florida seaside resort, maybe The Breakers. Bright sunny day. I was sitting at a beach chair by the pool; Rush was in the chair next to me. There was a magazine rack. I pulled out some brain-cracking thing like Forbes or The Economist, perused it, then put it back. In the process, I inadvertently brushed the magazine against the condensation of a lemonade glass sitting on the table between us. 
"You're going to have to pay for that," he shouted. 
 "You've damaged the magazine, sir! Is that your magazine? I should think not!" 
I picked up the mag, brushed it off. 
"It's OK." 
"It is not OK. There is visible staining on the cover!" 
"Jesus, relax." 
"I shall talk to management!" 
"Look, this is ridi -- I'll talk to management." 
"See? This is typical liberal evasion of personal responsibility! You, sir are -- " 
"Listen," I said "I'll --" 
 And, at that point, I woke up.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Redneck wisdom

"Stick out both hands. Take a shit in one and put your wishes in the other. See which fills up first!"