Tuesday, July 22, 2003

As a comic book nerd, a former pro and a current critic, naturally I paid attention to reports of a new Batman short that premiered at the San Diego Comicon. The short has been getting props from all over the place, as an example of how a Batman movie ought to be.

Personally, I thought the thing was retarded. The acting is of short film quality, which is to say, it is very bad. Starting out at a pretentious fanboy jerk-off, with fetishized shots of Batman fastening is boots (with Velcro, no less) and chasing the Joker, it gets even worse with the introduction of that fucked up alien from Alien and a bunch of those fucked-up aliens from Predator. This is all at the service of some weird fascination genre fans have with crossovers. It is inept and pretentious at the same time, and manages to not have a single original idea. And it was shot on 35 mm film, which means someone like Wes Anderson could have made an amazing feature with the same budget.

To its credit, the film's production values are first rate (those look like real Alien and Predator costumes), albeit at the service of something just plain awful.

So why is everyone (well, all 100,000 comic book fans) so excited? Apparently, for comics fans the previous Batman films have acquired the sting of a childhood memory of being molested by an ugly relative, just like the television show (I stole this simile from The Comics Journal). Comic fans believe Batman deserves better than the admittedly terrible Batman and Robin, or even the previous Tim Burton "efforts," to use the term loosely.

Honestly, who cares? Okay, admittedly I'm writing about it, but we're talking about a man who responds to the murder of his parents by dressing up as a winged possum in vinyl and beating up people. A banal and primitive concept, meant to appeal to undeveloped minds, something the character has excelled at for sixty years. Batman is an idiotic character, and every appearance, every film, every television show and cartoon produces a net deficit in the free marketplace of ideas. Batman doesn't deserve better, because the mediocre doesn't deserve better.

Anyway, you can download the thing here. Be prepared to be blown away. If you're a complete fucking geek. Fuck you and your family.

Monday, July 21, 2003


Geniuses, criminals do best work in their 30s

LONDON, England (Reuters) --Geniuses and criminals may not seem to have much in common but they both do their best work in their 30s -- and mainly to impress the opposite sex.

When Satoshi Kanazawa, of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, studied biographies of prominent, mostly male scientists he discovered that they made their key discovery before their mid 30s, around the same age that criminal behavior peaks.

He believes the male competitive urge to attract females is a driving force for the scientific and criminal achievements, according to New Scientist magazine.

"They do whatever they do" in order to win the sexual attention of women, Kanazawa said.

He added that the competitive drive decreases with age and as men's priority shifts from competing for women to taking care of their offspring.

"Kanazawa also found that marriage dampens the drive in both arenas," the magazine added.


Here's the abstract from a website I won't link to because they charhe $30 to read the full article:

The biographies of 280 scientists indicate that the distribution of their age at the time of their greatest scientific contributions in their careers (age–genius curve) is similar to the age distribution of criminals (age–crime curve). The age–genius curves among jazz musicians, painters and authors are also similar to the age–crime curve. Further, marriage has a strong desistance effect on both crime and genius. I argue that this is because both crime and genius stem from men's evolved psychological mechanism which compels them to be highly competitive in early adulthood but "turns off" when they get married and have children. Fluctuating levels of testosterone, which decreases when men get married and have children, can provide the biochemical microfoundation for this psychological mechanism. If crime and genius have the same underlying cause, then it is unlikely that social control theory (or any other theory specific to criminal behavior) can explain why men commit crimes and why they desist.
My boss has just initiated the new office policy of bringing in her poodle puppy. It seems the dog was selected for her calm disposition. She won't play with a ball unless it is withis reach of her paws. A very lazy animal. An interesting new element in the office, and something to eat before resorting to cannibalism, if it ever comes down to that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

I love hearing a rumor for the first time in a news story confirming it's truth. Honestly, I had no idea.

Drew Barrymore: "I Am Bisexual"

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle star Drew Barrymore has laid to rest years of speculation by confirming she is bisexual - and claims to have bedded "lots of women". The Hollywood actress - who's had two failed marriages, and is now dating The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti - has confirmed she harbors sexual feelings for both sexes. Barrymore has confessed to sleeping with a long line of women during her troubled teenage years - which saw her battling a drug addiction from the age of 11. She says, "Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual. I love a woman's body. I think a woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else. When I was younger I used to go with lots of women. Totally - I love it."

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Just so we're clear, Pat Robertson is publicly calling for people to die.

Robertson Calls for Justices' Retirement

Tuesday July 15, 2003 4:49 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson urged his nationwide audience Monday to pray for God to remove three justices from the Supreme Court so they could be replaced by conservatives.

``We ask for miracles in regard to the Supreme Court,'' Robertson said on the Christian Broadcasting Network's ``The 700 Club.''

Robertson has launched a 21-day ``prayer offensive'' directed at the Supreme Court in the wake of its 6-3 June vote that decriminalized sodomy. Robertson said in a letter on the CBN Web site that the ruling ``has opened the door to homosexual marriage, bigamy, legalized prostitution and even incest.''

The same letter targets three justices in particular: ``One justice is 83-years-old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?''

Judging from the descriptions, Robertson was referring to Justice John Paul Stevens, who was born in 1920, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had colon cancer surgery in 1999. The identity of the third justice was unclear.

Monday, July 14, 2003

And swarthy, kinky-haired brunettes like David Miller will inherit the earth.

Blondes 'to die out in 200 years'

Scientists believe the last blondes will be in Finland

The last natural blondes will die out within 200 years, scientists believe.
A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202.

Researchers predict the last truly natural blonde will be born in Finland - the country with the highest proportion of blondes.

But they say too few people now carry the gene for blondes to last beyond the next two centuries.

The problem is that blonde hair is caused by a recessive gene.

In order for a child to have blonde hair, it must have the gene on both sides of the family in the grandparents' generation.

The researchers also believe that so-called bottle blondes may be to blame for the demise of their natural rivals.

They suggest that dyed-blondes are more attractive to men who choose them as partners over true blondes.

But Jonathan Rees, professor of dermatology at the University of Edinburgh said it was unlikely blondes would die out completely.

"Genes don't die out unless there is a disadvantage of having that gene or by chance. They don't disappear," he told BBC News Online.

"The only reason blondes would disappear is if having the gene was a disadvantage and I do not think that is the case.

"The frequency of blondes may drop but they won't disappear."

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Quote of the day, by Roger Ebert: If you don't go to subtitled films, you are not "as cultured as the next person"...

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

My neighbors just left the building with bowling balls. I need to move. Bowling freaks.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

I'm still as happy as a schoolgirl over Strom Thurmond's death, but this article in Slate about Thurmond's hypocrisy gets my goat anyway. It dredges up an old -- and probably accurate -- rumor that Thurmond fathered a daughter with a black servant in the mid-1920s.

I don't have an issue with the rumor-mongering, or the schadenfreude. But by calling Thurmond out for misegenation, Slate is playing by the enemy's rules, and agreeing that there is indeed something wrong with it. Thurmond held loathsome public positions; isn't it a good thing that his private behavior contravened them? Would Thurmond have somehow been a better man had he scrupilously avoided sexual contact with "Nigra" people? Thurmond's evil record is enough to condemn him, without validating his nasty beliefs by parsing them.

My problem with the article doesn't end there. It ends by snickering, "As for God, I can't help but wonder if Thurmond felt he had been forsaken by the all-merciful Christian deity and stumbled into the tragic realm of Greek fate when, in 1993, a drunk driver hit and killed the 22-year-old white daughter he did acknowledge, just before she was to enter the Miss South Carolina contest." Thurmond was a loathsome reptile for a century, so his daughter deserved to die? By that logic, AIDS is God's punishment on homosexuals and hemophiliacs after all.

Way to join the other side, Slate.