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Posts posted by emb021

  1. - King of the Hill (Best animated show I have ever seen. The humor is very organic and down-to-Earth. Unlike other shows like Family Guy or South Park which can be downright malicious, this show never laughs at people: it only laughs at their flaws. The humor, thus, is benevolent. Any other show would have turned Hank Hill into a cheap five-second joke, but here, he is a bit of an elevated figure. Great in his flaws, but greater in his virtues. All of the characterizations are well-done. The opening theme is awesome. The sense of life is life-affirming.)

    KofH ended this year.

    Judge is working on a new animated series, The Goode Family, that sounds interesting. A kind of over the top liberal/PC family.

    Michael Brown

  2. * Eureka. A fun little sf show over on Sci-Fi (sorry, SyFy). The characters and their interaction is half the fun.

    other shows I'll usually watch: Mentalist, Psych, Monk. I discovered the Mentalist only recently, as it follows NCIS. A kind of more serious version of Psych. A fake psychic (aren't they all), has kind of reformed and is a police consultant. Its clear he's just a realy good observer and has no powers. Psych is a more fun version of that. Monk is another interesting show. I hope they can resolve the story about who killed his wife.

    I prefer Warehouse 13 to Eureka, but that is a matter of taste.

    I forgot to mention W13. I've started to watch it and have been enjoying it. A fun, 'secret history' vibe to it that fun. Hasn't been enough episodes to say its better then Eureka, but overall good.

    A show that came out last year that I was hoping would be continued was Middleman. But ABC-Family didn't even bother to do any re-runs, and they didn't renew it. Stupid. Without any re-runs or the like, there is no way for a quirky show like that to gain an audience. I'll be getting the DVD set, I think.

  3. In terms of shows CURRENTLY being produced, these are what I make a point of watching:

    * NCIS. I enjoyed JAG, and have been watching NCIS from day one. Will probably take a look at the new NCIS spin-off show. An interesting set of characters and good storylines.

    * Burn Notice. Another interesting show. Actually filmed in my area. I find that while its about spies and such, that the main characters are, by and large, have strong moral values. You have a burned spy, his ex-military buddy (also an ex-spy of some sort), and the spy's ex-IRA operative. While trying to get back into the spy game, he helps people who need it. The three are very loyal to one another, and go to any lengths to help each other out. There is a line they don't want to cross. And often if they are helping someone for the right reasons, seem to do it without pay.

    * Mythbusters. Science rules!! Instead of just believing all kinds of nonsense, lets actually TEST it out. Its amazing that this show is still going strong.

    * L&O: SVU and CI. I actually like Criminal Intent better, mainly because of the actors.

    * Eureka. A fun little sf show over on Sci-Fi (sorry, SyFy). The characters and their interaction is half the fun.

    other shows I'll usually watch: Mentalist, Psych, Monk. I discovered the Mentalist only recently, as it follows NCIS. A kind of more serious version of Psych. A fake psychic (aren't they all), has kind of reformed and is a police consultant. Its clear he's just a realy good observer and has no powers. Psych is a more fun version of that. Monk is another interesting show. I hope they can resolve the story about who killed his wife.

  4. One thing I realized is that a good gauge, for me, to a movie being great is my reaction after seeing it a second time. There are some movies that don't always make a good impression on me the first time, but the second time I see it, I realize its great. Some movies I think are great, then when I see them again, I realize they aren't.

    For instance, when I watched The Mummy (the Brendan Fraser one) the first time, I thought it was pretty good. But when I saw it again, I realized it really was a good movie. Diabolik was the same way.

  5. I've just received the third volume of LOA, with covers daily and sunday strips from 1930 thru 1931.

    For me, this is a mix of stuff I've read and stuff I've not read. I know the major storyline for 1930 has Annie shipwrecked, which I have never read and look forward to. The major storyline from 1931 is a classic I read in the Fantagraphics book.

    This 1931 storyline has "Daddy" being wrecked financially by his enemies. He and Annie are forced out into poverty row, to make the best of things. "Daddy" finally gets a job as a truck driver, but is blinded (unknown to Annie) and more or less disappears. He slowly recovers and with a backer is able to rebuild his fortune. Annie, on her own, starts working with a jewish grocer, and helps him build up his store. Finally, they are re-united and "Daddy" eyesight is restored.

    Several new characters are introduced. Their landlord is "Ma Green", who would be spun off into her own 'topper' strip. Flophouse Bill is "Daddy"'s partner, and would appear for awhile afterwards, then disappear, as well as a Doctor who helps both Annie & "Daddy".

    After I read this volume, I think I need to sit down and write up a review (or maybe a series of reviews) touching on the different storylines and the things I see good/bad from a libertarian standpoint.

  6. Well, here are some of my favorite films (this may be the first of several posts).

    Westerns. By and large, I've never liked westerns, as a long-time sf fan. But there are a few I've gotten into over the years.

    * Silverado. This tale of a loose group of friends, coming together to stand up against the thugs trying to run their town (including a corrupt sheriff) is great. Its too bad they never did a sequel.

    * "Man with No Name trilogy". Classic 'spaghetti westerns' by Sergio Leone, with great music by Morricone and staring Clint Eastwood. Lee Van Cleef gets to be a good guy in one, and a bad guy in another. The final, three-way shootout at the end of the "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" is great.

  7. Hmmm, I happen to like Monty Python, Doctor Who and LOTR. Uh oh.

    I've longed liked Monty Python. Their brand of sarcastic british wit has rubbed off on me years ago. too often people are put off by my sarcastic attitude and just think I'm rude.

    I've also long liked Doctor Who, tho like some I have different Doctors I like more then others. I finally got to see Doctor Who when PBS started broadcasting the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). However, I have seen many episodes of all the Doctors. I think I probably like the third more then the fourth. Jon Pertwee's Doctor was more a man of action with is venusian karate, whomobile, and the first use of the sonic screwdriver. Plus the first appearance of the classic DW villian, the Master.

    the fifth doctor (Peter Davidson) I thought was too wimpy, the sixth doctor (Colin Baker) was too mean/sarcastic, and I didn't get to see enought of the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) to really make an opinion. The 8th Doctor only appeared in one movie (which I saw and taped). Not enought to make an opinion.

    As to the new ones. the 9th one was ok, but like the 10th one better then him. I see we'll see an 11th one soon.

    One thing about the original DW series is that all shows where half an hour, and were episodic, so it was anywhere from 2 to 6 episodes per show. But I think as PBS was showing them each afternoon, it wasn't too bad. the new show has been hour shows, with some being 2 or 3 parters, so a little better.

    Not sure if I like the new Tardis inside. I thought the use of the Tardis in the past, especially with the 4th and 5th Doctor (rooms and rooms, etc), was better.

    And I'm not sure if I like the idea that somehow all the Time Lords are gone. They're time travelers!!

    As to LOTR. For me, it sets the bar for modern fantasy works. Most of them seem to come from LOTR and its ideas (different fantasy races, different world that may or may not be ours in the past, etc).

  8. The main non-fiction works of Rand I would recommend people go for are:

    "Virtue of Selfishness"

    "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal"

    "The New Left" (current edition is known as "Return of the Primitive")

    I found "Intro to Objectivist Epistemology" very hard to get into. I never finished it.

    Later collections like "Philosophy: Who Needs it" and "The Voice of Reason" I also had problems with, due to her bitterness.

    As noted, the original of her non-fiction where the articles in "The Objectivist Newsletter", "The Objectivist" and "The Ayn Rand Letter". You can get hardcopy reprints of these 3, but unless you get lucky (as I was) they are a bit pricy. So unless you get lucky, go for the above books.

  9. *Spoilers, I suppose*

    It goes without saying that the movie is no match for the original comic series (later GN), but I'm not sure if this is fair. What adaptation is superior to the original? The filmmakers did an excellent job adapting what was considered an "unfilmable" story to film. Did it lose a lot in the process? Sure. But it made for good cinema, and has probably drawn many people toward the GN.

    Some changes I wasn't happy with (counting out the exclusion of the Black Freighter story-in-a-story, which made good sense to exclude from the movie-version)

    Overall I'd have to agree. In terms of a faithful comic book/movie adaptation, this one was the most faithful. But, like you I think, I also didn't care for the changes.

    - Nite-Owl II's changed costume (In the comic, he looked like an...owl...but the costume in the movie makes him look like a batman reject)

    Well, many of the costumes were changed. I was pleased the earlier characters outfits were fairly faithful. I thought both Nite-Owl II's & Ozy's costumes were too 'batmany'.

    - Matthew Goode as Ozymandius. I went to see this film with a friend who'd never read the GN before, and the moment after Goode's character was introduced, he turned to me and said: "I think he's the one who killed the guy at the beginning of the film." I wasn't surprised. Everything about him, from the way he talks to the manner in which he dresses, screams: VILLAIN! HEY, HEY, THIS GUY IS THE VILLAIN! He's like a bad parody of a Bond villain. Quite different than the under-the-radar guy we meet in the GN.

    Interesting. While I thought all the casting was great, I had a nagging issue with Goode. He was the only one I had issues with, I just couldn't put my finger on it.

    - The story tones down Rorshach's philosophy too much. It seems to remove the atheism as well as the existentialistic aspect (Rorschach believes that existence is morally blank, and that humans impose meaning onto it in the GN).

    - All depth and dimension was taken from Rorschach's psychologist.

    Well, there were other areas they just had to cut out, so these were more that were victimized. I've heard they will release a longer 'director's cut'. Will be interesting to see how much it adds, but I somehow doubt this will be an area.

    - Too much superfluous violence added to the story. It just felt immature after a while.

    Totally agree. In addition to what I noted, there was also the prison scene stuff as well.

    Then again, most of the casting was good, with a few GREAT choices (Crudup as Manhattan and Haley as Rorschach, in particular). The film's pacing was excellent. I thought the change made to the ending was actually a good idea (it might have worked in the comic, but nothing would have redeemed the film had some CGI beasty suddenly popped up on screen, which would have been the likely choice, as EVERYTHING seems to be CGI now). The film is intense and involving.

    Overall, I thought most of the casting was spot on. Other then some issues with Goode, and I didn't think the guy doing the Comedian pulled off the elderly Comedian before he died (other scenes of him were great).

  10. Both Michaels; Michael B.; Your post has lots of information however the whole question will not keep me up nights.

    Well, it should! :P

    There are a lot of similiarites between a lot of characters.

    DC Comics used to go after other comic companies for creating characters too like Superman. One of the first ones was Wonderman (I believe only one comic came out with him). The publisher of that one lost the case when the writer-artist, Will Eisner, admitted in court that he created the character in the style of Superman at the request of the publisher.

    Another character they went after many years later for being too similiar was Captain Marvel. But while they might have had similiar powers, their origins was VERY different (Superman- alien sent to earth as a child, hence his superpowers; Captain Marvel- boy given magic word that transformed him into adult with superpowers).

    Nowadays there are many Superman analogues out there.

    DC Comics almost sued pulp publisher Thrilling when they came out with The Black Bat, whom DC saw as being too similiar to Batman. But they didn't when one of their writer/editors pointed out that the character came out too soon after Batman to have been a ripoff, the character had to have been in development independently of Batman.

    And besides, Batman ripped off elements of The Shadow, Doc Savage, Zorro, and other characters.

  11. X-Men --> Doom Patrol

    Superman --> Gladiator

    The Lion King --> Kimba The White Lion

    Cobra --> Hydra

    The Green Lantern --> Lensmen

    Batman --> Zorro

    As a comic book fan, let me comment.

    * X-Men/Doom Patrol. Long debated. Yes, there are a lot of similiarities. HOWEVER, as they came out very close to one another, probably NOT influenced. You can't get a whole comic out in just 3 months.

    * Superman/Gladiator. This as long be talked about in the comic world. HOWEVER, i've heard recently that the claim is a little dubious. Apparently Wylie's work was really NOT as well known when it came out, and its doubtful that Siegel/Shuster had read him, tho they were sf fans. The claim of influence came much later, prehaps by someone trying to cash in.

    * Lion King/Kimba. Also long debated. Just don't know about this.

    * Cobra/Hydra. Ehhhh, think this is dubious.

    * Green Lantern/Lensmen. Maybe a connection.

    * Batman/Zorro. Buzzz, sorry, but the Batman was more inspired by The Shadow. This has been shown recently by several articles in the current Shadow reprints. They even based the first Batman story on a Shadow novel and such.

    Dial B for Blog had a series on the secret origins of Batman. Here is the first one: http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/389/

    think is, a lot of things are influenced by other things. How many know of the influences of Doc Savage on Superman? Or the link between the Fantastic Four and Challengers of the Unknown (both done by Jack Kirby...)

  12. All-

    Most of Steve Ditko's articles you need to read either in "The Comics" or some of the collections by Robin Snyder. Ditko recently allowed his article "Toyland" (from 2007) to be reprinted on-line. Here is a link to it: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/blash/20...ditkos-toyland/

    The scans of the accompanying artwork aren't too great. The article deals with Ditko's take on the current treatement of heroes in the medium, mainly comics, but could also be applied to the various superhero movies based on comics.

  13. Wasn't Elvis Presley called the King?

    So was Jack Kirby.

    But the difference is people like them were called 'the king' in recognition to their TALENT. Not like your royals (of whatever country) who have the title because their ancestor beatup everyone else's ancestor (or more likely got other people's ancestor's to beat up everyone else's).

    I'm also reminded of when people make referrence to that waste of space Paris Hilton about how girls like her are 'america's royalty'. Ugh.

  14. While i believe in courtesy bowing to any monarch by an American President I find bothersome.

    Well, I'd go one further.

    We don't have royalty in this country. I believe we fought a war to make sure of this. ;) Our first president set the precedence of being address as "Mr. President", not "His Excellency" or the like.

    We don't bow in this country. To anyone. And I don't think any American should feel or be made to feel they should bow to anyone, including foreign royalty. And that goes double for the President.

    We shake hands. If we really like you, we'll give you a hug (if the French can get away with cheek kissing, why not a hug?). But no bowing.

    Am sure I won't get invited to any parties with royals...

  15. The “Watchmen” is a different world. It has quite an edgy quality.

    It's mean to be.

    It was Moore's way of showing what a world would be like with superheroes (Moore is, IMO, VERY good at taking a more realistic view of superheroes). Most comic book creators just think a world with superheroes would be just like our world, just with superheroes. Instead, a world with superheroes would probably be very different.

    So Watchmen shows us an alternate 1985 in which:

    'masked mystery men' appeared in the 1930s & 40s.

    A superpowered human appeared in the 50s. Thru him, we are able to go to electric vehicles (not clearly shown in the movie, but in the comic, almost all vehicles are electric, including Nite Owl II's owl vehicle) because Dr Manhattan was able to create the raw materials needed to create batteries for electric vehicles.

    Because superheroes are real, superhero comic books go away. Instead, pirate comics are big. (this is an element missing from the movie. Thru the comic we see a boy reading "The Tales of the Black Freighter", and see his interactions with a newsman- in the movie we see these two characters, they are killed in the NY explosion, but really don't know their back story. They did do a direct to video animation of "Tales of the Black Freighter".)

    Thanks in large part to Dr Manhattan, we win the Vietnam War. Vietnam actually becomes part of the US (51 state I think), they overturn the restrictions on presidential terms, and Nixon is still President into 1985. [we see this in the movie, with mass surrenders to Dr M, Nixon arriving triumphantly in VN, etc]

    It's due to the Keane Act that the masked heroes are outlawed (we see the riots during that, when the NY police go on strike). Because Dr Manhattan worked for the government, and the Comedian has pretty much become a government agent (hence his involvement in the Vietnam War), they still operate (there are hints the Comedian killed JRK and maybe also the Watergate reporters- there was no Watergate scandal in this world). Nite Owl quits. Silk Spectre as well, by now pretty much just being Dr. Manhattans girlfriend. Ozymandias had already quit and started a financial empire, revealing his identity, thus avoiding the anti-mask stigma. Rorshach, of course, keeps on working. Not sure if this was before or after he went insane. (the death of the kidnapped girl is shown in the comic to have pushed him over the edge).

    Because of Dr Manhattan, world tension between the superheroes is MUCH higher. This is, in fact, one of the main reasons for Ozy's plot. It gives the world a common threat to unite behind, eliminating the tension and preventing armageddon.

  16. I would be curious as to what Kress's views are on Objectivism/libertarianism. I get no sense from her site of being in favor of it.

    I know at times some authors follow certain philisophical beliefs. Some times this colors their works, and for me, if its a view I don't agree with, makes it very hard for me to read their works.

    For instance, I read a couple of books by a Michael Z. Williamson (Freehold and The Weapon). In Freehold he shows a very libertarian planetary society who has to deal with the invasion of a highly socialist UN. He doesn't use his story to promote said society, but shows it to be overall pretty good. But some of his comments on his website make me think he isn't a libertarian, so its puzzling.

  17. [This is an edited version of what I posted elsewhere.]

    Well, I read "Watchmen" when it first came out, and got the collection when it first came out. While I've enjoyed a lot of what Alan Moore has done, this is one of many times where I don't agree with him on everything. I thought V was better as a comic then what they did in the movie. Moore can do some great comic book stories when he doesn't let his PoMo and similiar crap get in the way. (Marvelman, 1963, Supreme, LoEG, most of the ABC line, Swamp Thing, D.R. & Quinch, and a few others).

    I found that the Watchmen movie a kind of 'mixed bag'. While overall faithful to the comic (the actors did a spot-on job of their characters, and a lot of scenes and dialogue was lifted almost verbatum), I found that some stuff was cut (understandable because of time), some stuff was altered (many times because of other things being cut), and some stuff was added (again, to make up for the stuff cut).

    A few things were ALTERED, and I didn't like those alternations, because I felt it made some real changes in the storyline and theme. Some of those were:

    * When The Comedian got his face cut in Vietnam, it was a lot more horrific then what is seen in the movie. Afterwards he wears a full-face leather mask, similiar to a gimp mask. But in the movie they show him still wearing just a domino mask (ie: riot scene in NY with Nite Owl & Comedian). Since they were so faithful with the look of everything, why not do this right??

    * The fight between Ozy and The Comedian was way longer then in the comic. I saw no real purpose in that. I guess they figured they needed a kick-ass opening... Others have commented that the movie seems to imply that the 'Watchmen' have some degree of superstrenght (which they didn't in the comic) to do some of the things we see in the movie). On this same theme, the fight between Ozy and Nite Owl & Rorschack was also way longer then in the comic.

    * the fight between Nite Owl & Silk Spectre and the street gang was both way longer in then in the comic, and a LOT more violent (no was killed or shot in that fight in the comic).

    * Rorshacks's dispacting of the kidnapper did NOT happen that way in the comic. In the comic he chained him to the stove, gave him a hack saw, then dumped gasoline around the room and set it on fire (similiar to a scene in Mad Max). I frankly think the comic did it better and I think most audience members would have been more sympethetic to R doing that then what happened in the movie. I almost wondered if they did that so the audience won't have been as sympathetic toward R.

    * Since I think most people know the big ending, I'll let you know that in the comic, it was a little different (or maybe a whole lot different). Ozy only blew up NY, and made it look like a possible alien invasion, so the idea was to unite the US & USSR against a common threat: aliens. Sounds more doable then going after the god-like Dr. Manhattan. I guess the movie people thought they needed to hit other cities (I guess they figured many in the audience won't care if just NY got it, vs major cities around the world as well), and the fake alien invasion think won't fly. The rest happened as shown, expect Dr. Manhattan left because he was tired of dealing with us, and would go off and explore the universe.

    In fact, I was so bothered by these alterations I had to pull out my copy of Watchmen when I got home to verify if I was remembering some things correctly.

    Many have commented on the basis of the comic and its characters. Alan Moore was originally going to use the characters created by Charlton Comics that DC had recently purchased, but his plans would have made them unusable afterwards, hence he created new characters inspired by (some cases very loosely) on these characters. Many of these were done in some part by Steve Ditko. Rorschack is inspired by Ditko's The Question, an early Objectivist hero he created (his Mr. A. that came out soon afterwards is usually seen as a more 'purer', Ditko-owned Objectivist hero). Rorschack is more of Alan Moore's take on what an Objectivist hero would be.

    For those who care:

    Dr. Manhattan- Captain Atom (art by Ditko, an air force officer who is blown up by a nuclear missle, and comes back an atomic power superhero)

    Nite Owl I- Blue Beetle (rookie cop turned superhero, created by Fox Comics, later bought by Charlton)

    Nite Owl II- Blue Beetle II (inventor Ted Kord, who has no powers, but used a flying bug to go fight crime, inspired by the original Blue Beetle. Created by Ditko)

    Rorshack- Question (reporter who fights crime, using a 'false face' mask and Objectivist philosophy. Created by Ditko)

    Silk Spectre- based on various early female heroes like Phantom Lady, etc

    Silk Spectre II- Nightshade (super powered character who worked alongside Captain Atom)

    Ozymandias- Thunderbolt (man who is at peak of mental/physical condition)

    Comedian- Peacemaker (diplomat who so believed in peace, he would fight for it as the Peacemaker)

    I've posted over in the Library section about Ditko's Objectivist work, for those interested.

  18. All-

    In the last year, Steve Ditko with Robin Snyder, has put out 4 new comic books of mostly new materials. I had held off on a 'review' of them, because of several continued storylines in the 3 more recent comics.

    The new comics are:

    "The Avenging Mind" $4.95, April 2008. Mainly a collection of reprinted articles from "The Comics", with some one page comic pieces.

    "Ditko, etc." $4, October 2008. All new comic stories, both one pagers and longer stories (some continued).

    "...Ditko Continued..." $4, January 2009. All new comic stories, both one pagers and longer stories (some continued).

    "Oh No! Not Again, Ditko!" $4, March 2009. All new comic stories, both one pagers and longer stories (some continued).

    Coming next will be "Ditko Once More". All can be ordered from Robin Snyder, along with many of their past works. I especially recommend the large "Avenging World" collection, and the complete stories of "The Mocker" and "Static". contact Snyder at robinbrigit @ comcast.net for pricing and postage.

    So, reviews. Because the last 3 comics have the same style and contining stories, I'll deal with them as a set.

    "The Avenging Mind" is a collection of short 1-2 page articles that appeared in Robin Snyder's "The Comics" newsletter. While they deal with issues like 'what is a hero', 'what is a creator' and the like, these are largerly tied to issues within the comic book world (issue of comic creator rights, comic book heroes, who created Spider Man, etc). So some in the Objectivist world that don't fully understand some of these issues may not fully appreciate what Ditko is dealing with. In addition to the articles are several one-page art pieces on different topics, many of them, again, on issues within the comic book world as seen by Ditko.

    The next three "Ditko, etc.", "...Ditko Continued...", and "Oh No! Not Again, Ditko!" are 3 32-page black and white comic books of all new work from Ditko. All are done in Ditko's current 'looser' art style. There is a mixture of one-page pieces on philisophical and comic fan issues (a few times more then one), as well as several multi-page stories. Most stories use new Ditko characters, and we sometimes see several stories dealing with the same characters. Some of the stories are continued in the next book, which I personally found annoying because most of the stories were very short (4-16 at the most), and I would have preferred the story be complete in one book. I don't mind really long stories that must be continued, but a shorter page story shouldn't need to be.

    So, instead of looking at each book separately, I will instead look at the stories. For brevety, I'll refer to the comics as #1, #2, and #3 respectively.

    "Ha! Ha! Ha! Bandit" (4 pager, only in #1)- a take off on the 'robin hood' type character, when the fools who defended the Bandit are themselves robbed by him, they just don't get it.

    "The Cape" (1 pager, #1; 3 pager #2) new 'hero' character, an animated cape who shows people their mistakes.

    "The Gray Negotiator" (2 pager, #1, 2 pager #2, 3 pager #2) character who believes in compromise, the gray. Maybe he'll learn from his mistake in the second story. Or not.

    "The Hero" (8 pager, #1, 1 page #1, 3 pager #1, 16 pager #2 & 3) a new hero character, used in several stories.

    "The Outline" (10 pager #1 & 2, 1 page #2) a new hero character who ensures that bad people get their comeuppance.

    "The Partners" (6 pager #2 & 3) a short story about 2 people who become corrupted and get their come uppance. Last 2 pages give 2 alternate endings.

    "Mr. A." (8 pager #2 & 3) a new story with Ditko's classic Objectivist hero, Mr. A. Sadly, he's fairly quiet in this one.

    No idea if we will see a return of some of these characters in the next comic.

  19. In like of the upcoming movie of "The Watchmen" (see below for more), here are 2 articles on Steve Ditko's "The Question".

    The Question backups in Blue Beetle: http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2009/02/question-mark.html

    The Question solo in Mysterious Suspense: http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2009/02/singl...s-suspense.html

    While most people are pretty negative on Ditko's shift to Objectivist themes, these 2 articles a pretty fair.

    The Question was probably Ditko's first clearly Objectivist superhero. A more 'pure' version of him was done as "Mr. A.".

    Sadly, as he did not own the Question, the Question was picked up by DC Comics when they bought the Charlton heroes, and others haven't kept the character true to his Objectivist roots (big surprise).

    "The Watchmen" series, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, use characters based on the Charlton heroes. The Question became Rorshack. As Moore doesn't agree with Objectivism, Rorshack isn't a very nice character. While I like a lot of the stuff Moore has done, and think Watchmen is pretty good, I don't agree with his take on the character per say.

  20. I just finished the final book in the Sword of Truth series.

    IMO, Goodkind is probably the best author of Objectivist fiction now writing.

    I'll even go out on a limb and say that I think he does a better job of putting forth Objectivist philosophy in his fiction then Rand herself did. Yes, Rand may have gone deeper into in her fiction, but I think that for modern readers, Goodkind does a better job. And I think that he also does a better job of conveying the ideas in certain areas that Rand didn't go into too well.

    Because of the contrast between the philosophy of the 'good guys' in the books and the 'bad guys' (Imperial Order, Fellowship of Order), I think modern readers would get a better contrast between modern liberty/Objectivist/liberatarian philosophy vs collectivist/socialist/fascist philosophy. The stuff spouted by the IO sorts is very similiar to current collectivist nonsense from our policians.

    Objectivist/liberatarian philosophy is too often putdown as 'selfish' (in a very negative way) as contrasted to collectivist 'help the poor and downtrodden'. In the SoT, Goodkinds shows that the 'good guys' aren't as selfish as Oist/L'ists are portrayed, as well as showing what the collectivist REALLY expect from people to 'help the poor and downtrodden'...

  21. I wish President Obama, our new Commander in Chief, success.

    As I am a civilian, no President is my 'Commander in Chief'.

    Other comments:

    For someone who claims to be a 'constitutional scholar', he has a poor understanding and an even poor appreciation of what the constition is all about.

    For someone who claims he's about change, he sure has put a lot of former Clintonites back in power.

  22. Ted:

    PORTMEIRION Hotel ( the location that was used) is in North Wales - are we counting that as a Mediterranean country?????

    McGoohen visited the hotel when they did an episode of Danger Man, and he was struck by the whole place. The guy who had designed/built it used a wide variety of styles, giving it an kind of unusual atmosphere.

    During the broadcast of The Prisoner, they never gave the location until the credits of the final episode.

    The building that housed #6's apartment now houses a shop that sells #6 merchandise. They also have annual Prisoner conventions there.