Thursday, May 21, 2009


I've been looking at a few old issues of The Beano, a weekly British comic book that's been running since 1938 (which most Americans have never heard of).

Anyway, the bizarre thing about the comic is one of the regular features, Dennis the Menace. It's NOT the Dennis the Menace we Americans know. So you think, maybe someone ripped somebody's idea off. But get this: the two characters debuted independently (i.e. unrelated creators) in their respective countries just 3 days apart. Hella weird.

Anyway, Britsh comics and advertisements are different.

And this is a great quote I haven't thought of in years but which came back to me yesterday:

"If you want to be successful in life, everything you do must be an act of patricide. You must always kill the father. Every song you sing, every sentence you write, every leaf you rake must kill the father. Every act from the most august to the most banal must be patricidal if you hope to live freely and unencumbered. Even when shaving— each whisker you shave off is your father's head. And if you're using a twin blade—the first blade cuts off the father's head and as the father's neck snaps back it's cleanly lopped off by the second blade."

--from “My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist”, by Mark Leyner

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I've read the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book, Volume 3: Century, #1: 1910. I don't read comics in Korea because I don't like reading on the computer, but for this I made an exception.

This latest story is pretty good - better than The Black Dossier, but not as good as the first two volumes. I'm looking forward to the 1969 and 2009 books, even if the story's gotten a bit muddied by including just about every fantasy narrative ever, as well as fictions that aren't specifically fantasy-oriented. Virginia Woolf's Orlando has gotten a larger role with each book, and that's one of the primary texts I haven't gotten around to yet. Trying to keep up with all the intersecting media is a bit of a challenge, but that gives us something to do as we wait years for Moore and O'Neill to complete each issue, and to get the essential sources isn't that difficult. Aside from characters from previous volumes - mainly from Dracula, H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain books, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, the Sherlock Holmes mythos, and the aforementioned Orlando - this book's primary inspiration comes from Brecht and Weill's
The Threepenny Opera and Somerset Maugham's The Magician, which I'm only passingly familiar with. Knowing the sources helps, but part of the enjoyment comes in rereading and realizing who all these people are, and every time I read it I recognize something new.

Throwing in references to Cat's Cradle or The Story of O for the sake of references is of course a bit pretentious, but Moore usually goes beyond this to make the characters his own and breathe new life into them. The throwaway stuff for the annotations is more like ornamentation, and when Moore focuses on telling a good story he always comes through. A lot of this volume felt like setup for the 1969 and 2009 volumes (this one is set in 1910). This issue is really about Captain Nemo's daughter and it's quite touching and disturbing, if a tad predictable.

And Kevin O'Neill's art is always incredible. He's got a huge collection of his Marshal Law stories coming out that looks awesome.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Someone Twisting a Knife in Your Back

I'm giving Wilco (The Album) my third listen and loving it. My favorite band this decade.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Predictably Irrational

Maybe minimal blogging while in ghost ship mode as I wrap up my teaching (five more weeks).

Here's a great book I listened to, similar to

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Limits of Control

Ebert totally dissed the new Jim Jarmusch movie, The Limits of Control. I still want to see it, but I'm sorry it's getting such bad reviews. I really liked that last Jarmusch movie with Bill Murray, Broken Flowers.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Jolly Banker

There's a new Wilco song up for free download (written by Woody Guthrie). It's not on their forthcoming album and sounds more Guthrie-esque than Wilco-esque.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

The Awakening

4-day weekend spent on bullet trains, buses, and ships traveling all the way to a small island off the south coast of Korea with a co-worker and her family. Also went to two temples and a green tea farm. Off the clock, it reminds me of how life once was, how it will be again, but upleveled a thousandfold once I'm done here. I'm gonna move back to Livejournal when I finish in Korea to hermetically seal it. It's good to travel and get out of routine.

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