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Friday, February 27, 2009

#2: culture!

* How HBO changed TV.

* Is Sarah Connor canceled?

* Europe names crew for simulated mission to Mars. Devotees may remember that this is strikingly reminiscent of the first episode of The Twilight Zone.

* Examined Life is your crash course in contemporary philosophy.

I'm not suggesting that Taylor set out to sandbag or ironize her subjects in "Examined Life." In fact, I'm quite sure she didn't. But as with Taylor's previous film, "Zizek!" (whose subject, the Slovenian madman Slavoj Zizek, appears here at a London garbage dump, claiming that mankind isn't alienated enough from the natural world), the movie has a philosophical element of its own that is not free of guile. By conducting her conversations in public spaces, and removing her interlocutors from desks and offices and book-lined studies and other appurtenances of intellectual authority, Taylor introduces a degree of playfulness and unpredictability that becomes the movie's M.O. Trying to rehabilitate the concept of revolution while rowing in the Central Park lake, post-Marxist philosopher Michael Hardt literally runs aground on a half-submerged boulder. I'm far more sympathetic to Hardt's intellectual project than I should admit, but, really, what can you say?
* The great American novel v. women. (Or maybe that's the other way around.)

* Alan Moore v. comic book films. More Moore here and here.

* How they marketed Watchmen: a look back at the original solicits from 1986.

* Gary Westfahl: Why Science Fiction So Often Fails to Predict the Future. Another thing Suvin makes clear in his very good book on science fiction is that if you're expecting science fiction to predict the future you're asking the wrong questions.

* The Indy just announced the winners of their 2009 poetry contest, and once again Jaimee was one of the judges.

* And Neil sends along some optical illusion fun.