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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday, Sunday.

* The New Yorker has fiction from the late great David Foster Wallace as well as discussion of his unfinished final novel. (There's also a profile of Rahmbo.) Discussion at MeFi.

* Even more six-word science fiction. More at MetaFilter.

* The twenty-first century: an FAQ from Charlie Stross.

* Hypothesis: Sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract porn and activists. If there's no porn, the tool doesn't work. If there's no activists, it doesn't work well. (via)

* Maybe Dollhouse shouldn't have been as series: io9 clues into the central problem facing American television production, open-ended perpetual serialization. Discussion at Whedonesque.

* Sebelius to HHS.

* The formula that killed Wall Street. Some talk at MetaFilter.

* Anime Peanuts. More along these lines at MeFi.

* Reverse-plot movies. Reverse-plot games.

* Aside from their nihilism and incompetence, the biggest problem facing Republicans is that their mythology has become too difficult for the average person to follow. It’s like a comic book “universe” where the writers have been straining to maintain continuity for decades — all the ever-more-fine-grained details are really satisfying for the hardcore fans, but intimidating for potential new readers, who are left asking, “Trickle-what? Chappaquid-who? What’s that about Obama’s birth certificate? Obama’s European now? I thought he was a Muslim! Darn it, I’ll never catch up!”

I suggest, therefore, that the Republicans use their current time of wandering in the wilderness to do their own version of Crisis on Infinite Earths. They wouldn’t have to ditch their favorite heroes, of course — we could also be treated to limited series like Rush Limbaugh: Year One, Newt Gingrich: Year One, etc. They can reboot all the plotlines, free the beloved characters of the chains of continuity, and then do it again, and yet again — until finally they find success in some genre other than politics, much as comic book superheroes have moved on to the movies.
GOP: Year One.

* See also: the GOP's voice and intellectual force, Rush Limbaugh.

* Forget Switzerland: Is Ireland the next Iceland? Don't forget your recession tourism.

* Slowly but surely, here comes marijuana decriminalization/legalization. Don't forget your revenue stream.

* Imprisoned fifteen-year-old beaten by police officer. On tape.

* And put aside that old question of "justifying" the humanities: the real problem is that for much of the past decade, the culture isn't listening to what the humanities have to teach.