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Subject:And he’s like: “I’m looking for a guy who shrinks.”
Time:10:11 pm
Watched Ant-Man on the plane. It’s a good clean perfectly functional Marvel formula with its own spin. It isn’t FANTASTIC but it does absolutely nothing WRONG either. It’s good. 8/10. Ethnic bullshit was a little annoying as was sexist bullshit but at least they’re working on it. Just a reminder that there’s STILL NO BLACK WIDOW MOVIE MOTHERFUCKERS. Aannyway, the Marvel formula is pick-a-genre-add-comedy-add-superhero, yeah? Iron Man is Technothriller Superhero, Cap 1 was WW2 Superhero, Cap 2 was 70s Political Spy Thriller Superhero, Hulk was Godzilla Superhero*.

Ant-Man is Heist Movie Superhero.

(maybe that’s why the Thor movies suck. They don’t execute their sub-niche. And of course, some people will tell me the Thor movies don't suck. And I will look down from my high horse and tell them, "No, you suck." Verily.)

- Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering but you don’t know what ‘subatomic’ means? Bullshit. I hate when geeks are written by non-geeks. Even smart non-geeks because they still don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about
- Paul Rudd got in the obligatory Marvel Male Shirtless Scene. That was cool. I like how they hid the incipient romance from everyone including the audience. Good shit. What happens to his baby mama though?
- Falcon fight was hilarious. Shrinking powers are sooo OP pls nerf srsly
- Did Scott actually get paid for any of this? Pym is such a dick
- I liked Pym’s dismissal of the Iron Man suit as ‘cute’ compared to his suit which plays with the very fabric of reality.
- which is true by the way. I sense they might use that as the gateway to Doctor Strange
- I liked Pym in general. His acerbically mellow arrogance pleases me
- Tank keychain, motherfuckers!!
- shrinking tech is INSANELY POWERFUL, no fooling
- How did they do young Michael Douglas so well by the way. CGI smoothing on his face, Gordon Gecko hair and acting for the rest, yeah? Cool. Helps that Michael Douglas is old as shit so he didn’t have to play his 20something year old self in the 80s because in the 80s he was like late 40s or something yeah. Well, he looked it anyway
- 80s!Howard Stark was hilarious. Don Draper’s right hand man, that coolass rich dude? Yeah, him. Now THAT was some perfect stunt-casting.
- fight scene inside a briefcase was awesome. Fight scene atop Thomas the Tank Engine was gold. Giant ant and Giant Thomas the Tank Engine? Priceless. Also, Giant Man is coming
- ‘looking for a guy who shrinks’ HAHAHAHAHAHAHAooohhh I laughed till I peed
- I cried when Pym told his daughter how her mom died. Understandable given my particular circumstances. Also, I just might be a fucking pussy. Full of estrogen and shit. Yeah.
- fathers and daughters, yeah.
- of course the villain’s relationship with Pym shows that fathers and sons are quite the issue too. How did the granddad on Blackish put it? “Sons are just pale disappointing reflections of ourselves”? That is, when they aren’t our best and worst traits turned up to eleven
- shrinking makes everything awesome. Running through a scale model of a building while full-size bullets rip everything to shreds turns a perfectly ordinary gun battle into Normandy. It’s like the poetic inverse of the climactic gun battle from Django Unchained
- the insect control was simultaneously awesome and incongruent. It was awesome because using EM signals to neurologically fake scent trails for the insects to follow is inspired and soooo versatile, incongruent because it has nothing to do with the shrinking tech.
- then again, between that and the signal jammer, it shows Pym wasn’t a one-trick pony. In his own way, he was every bit as brilliant as Tony Stark
- Mentor figure lives! Hell yes!
- Civil War flashforward, woohoo! “This would have been a lot easier a week ago.” The Accords, huh. “I know a guy” huh. So cool. So that’s how Antman joins the Avengers. He fights the power alongside Cap, Falcon, Winter Soldier and whoever else stays on their side.

*The Avengers movies are of course Superhero Superhero movies.
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Subject:"You've picked the losing side of a battle that's already won, girl."
Time:01:51 am
Been far too long. Busier than ever, new ventures, new efforts and LJ is pretty much dead anyway.

Still. I cannot let a year pass without updating my yearlusts such as they are.

This year's is supernatural fiction starring black folk. I've seen the particular genre called Afro-surrealism by some but I call it magical negro fiction. You know, starring the magical fucking negro -- and not her white sidekick. It's pretty cool. You've got Nnedi Okorafor with Lagoon and Who Fears Death and Akata Witch and you've got Ayize Jama-Everett with his Liminal books and of course, the ur-creator of the genre, Octavia Butler.

The most interesting thing to me in what they do is taking the powers we are all so familiar with (the strength, the speed, the flight) from Avengers and X-Men and Marvel and DC and Wildstorm and so on -- and making them strange again simply by the act of putting them in different hands. I exaggerate, of course; it is not simple but it is explicable. Take those powers and root them in mythology that slips beneath your feet like sand in the Dreamtime instead of pseudo-science that we've seen far too much of anyway. Root the powers in archetypes and hazy liminal weirdness so that they become icebergs shrouded in fog in waters on an alien planet.

Lagoon does this very well by shearing away the distinctions between alien and spirit, nanotech and magic, invasion and reawakening. Jama-Everett does it with X-Men types whose powers are inexplicable even to the people who claim to know, powers that put them in the same royal courts as the gods themselves -- and then has those gods actually exist as unknowably vast beings.

And that's my yearlust for 2015.

PS
Taggert's power is fucking bullshit. Seriously, ranged biomanipulation that lets him heal or harm with equal effort AND he can heal himself? WTFHAX PLS NERF :D
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Time:09:47 pm
Anyone been following the story of Cornealious Anderson, Missouri man who robbed a Burger King back in 1999, was sentenced to 13 years and then simply forgotten about until 2013? Usually, we hear about the reverse i.e. innocent men being let out of jail after 25-30 years. In this case, a clerical error meant he never got the summons to go to jail. So, naturally, not knowing where to go, he didn't go. Why would he? Would you?

Anyway, this guy went ahead and became a master carpenter, started a family, at least two businesses and in every way became a model citizen. He paid taxes, had a drivers license with his own name and address on it. Hell, he had parking tickets which he paid. No one ever raised any questions.

Fast-forward to July 2013. He's serving his daughter breakfast and a frickin SWAT team breaks down his door and grabs him. He has now been in jail for ... let's see, carry the three ... nine months. Why? Because, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections, he has to serve his time no matter what. Let's ignore the fact that it was their mistake that kept him out of jail for the past 13 years. Let's ignore the fact that he is infinitely more rehabilitated than any 13-year convict could ever be. Let's ignore the fact that the so-called armed robbery was with a BB gun and no one was killed, injured or even shot at. The victim, the Burger King assistant manager they actually took the money from when he went to deposit the day's earnings at the bank, has come out and explicitly said "... the law dropped the ball. The law ought to drop it completely. They need to leave the man alone.."

None of this made any difference to the powers that be in the Missouri Corrections System.

Cornealious Anderson is of course black.

Why am I posting this? Because I get bullshit chain letters about Jesus all the time and I figured this was a topic of actual importance, about a man who really shouldn't be in jail (at least, not while Ethan "Affluenza" Couch, Robert "I-fingered-my-3-year-old-daughter-while-jerking-off-but-I'm-rich-so-I-got-let-off-anyway" H. Richards IV and Stacey "raped-a-14-year-old-Girl-who-committed-Suicide-and-only-got-a-30-day-sentence" Rambold are freely walking the unsalted earth.)

Please give this some thought and share it if you are moved (be it on LJ, Instagram, MySpace, Facebook, SnapChat, in-person, whatever.) Take a moment to sign the CHANGE.ORG petition his lawyer put up. Don't let this happen.

http://www.change.org/petitions/attorney-general-chris-koster-release-cornealious-michael-anderson-iii-from-prison
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Subject:Somebodya culpa, somebodya maxima culpa
Time:02:04 pm
So hey, it turns out I do in fact have a yearlust for 2014 and it is the music of one Dan Bull, Esquire. This young British gentleman produces some of the finest hip-hop about video games that you will ever find on YouTube, especially when the games themselves are crap. Check his Euro Truck Simulator track for a particularly nifty example (bonus points for doing it in an apparently authentic Birmingham trucker accent.)
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Subject:My Favorite Year.
Time:11:42 pm
Current Mood:optimisticoptimistic
2014 is actually shaping up to not suck. While I have woefully and seemingly permanently fallen off the writing wagon, other good things have at least happened in this meandering existence I call a life. All I need is focus. And Kill. Thus spaketh Tom Cruise!

Speaking of years, 2014 is the first year in the last 12 in which I have not had a yearlust. For the absolutely fucking nobody reading this, a yearlust is a deep and abiding obsession, often fictional, always pop-cultural, that seizes me and abandons me over the course of a single year. Click the tag below if you care, otherwise fuck off then. Or don't. Whatever.

That said, I couldn't help but notice the glaring absence of 2008's. After spending a few perfunctory moments perusing my output in that lovely year, it became transparently clear that my yearlust at the time was fiction of the hypernow i.e. an exaggerated version of the 'present-day' the kind of thing William Gibson has been doing since Pattern Recognition in 2003.


PS
Have I mentioned that Lawrence of Arabia was a magnificent movie? Because it is. Despite the (amusingly real-life) Mighty Whitey trope.
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Subject:Keeping Pluto in was a sound choice.
Time:01:38 pm
Current Mood:pleasedpleased



These are nifty. Mars is the easy favorite (so warlike OMG) but come on. How can you go with anything other than Jupiter, badass sage-bodhisattva of the Fifth Planetary Dynasty? Earth is ... mostly water with er eyes closed. Neptune and Uranus look like Evangelions. That said, I am curious as to why the artist opted out on giving Saturn a halo.
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Subject:Convergence of notion.
Time:01:05 am
“What you need to remember, with these guys, is that they don’t know they’re con men. They’re wildly overconfident. Omnipotence, omniscience-that’s part of the mythology that surrounds the Special Forces. I had those guys hitting on me every last day in Baghdad.” She held up her fist, showing Milgrim her plain gold wedding band. “Your guy can walk in the door and promise training in something he personally doesn’t know how to do, and not even realize he’s bullshitting about his own capabilities. It’s a special kind of gullibility, a kind of psychic tactical equipment, that he had installed during training. The Army put him through schools that promised to teach him how to do everything, everything that matters. And he believed them. - Zero History by William Gibson


...

"Quite frankly, I didn’t even want to use you guys, with your dip and velcro and all your gear bullshit. I wanted to drop a bomb." - Zero Dark Thirty


Presented without comment.
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Subject:"Close to gods, and on the far side."
Time:05:27 pm
Iain (M.) Banks has Sublimed. One of the smaller regrets of my life is that I never met this man. You should look up his final interview with BBC. Such grace in the face of the imminent end; I can only hope to die twice as late and half as well. He leaves behind a solid legacy of books that have and will influence readers and writers alike for decades to come.

See you in Infinite Fun Space, Sol-Earther Iain El-Bonko Banks of North Queensferry.
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Subject:All Red Weddings All The Time.
Time:12:00 pm
Incidentally, the title doesn't refer to Game of Thrones but to Worm because ... yeah. Bad shit happens. All the time.

Even more incidentally, 2013's yearlust is Worm. Read it. You will (not) be sorry.
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Subject:Resolutions? Who, me?
Time:06:35 pm
Current Mood:conflicted
Man, what happened? I used to have so much to say. Now I just read and read and read but I don't write. This sucks.

In the spirit of not giving up, one of the quality bits of reading I recently discovered was Worm, a long-form web serial taking place in a peri-apocalyptic superhero setting. It stars Skitter, a bullied and tormented teenage girl who drops out of high school to use her insect-control powers for good. It ... doesn't work out quite as well as she hoped. It does work out really really well for the reader.

Worm is dark and intelligent, occasionally powerful and often moving with a vividly drawn and varied cast of heroes, villains and those who stand between.

-------------------------

Lest I forget, 2012's yearlust was Naruto of all the fucking things. Very few settings simultaneously intrigue and infuriate me the way it does.
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