Archive for May, 2009

LO, THE MUNDANE DEATH OF THE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER

faked by Friday, May 22nd, 2009

deadpapers

Don’t act like it ain’t been coming for a while.

This turned into a postcard for that esteemed icon of journalism, the peerless Donna Ladd. I don’t always agree with Donna (indeed, sometimes I vehemently disagree with her), but I will always take her side in a knife fight, because she’s got Jackson’s back, and because when everybody else was leaving, she did the unthinkable:

She came back to Mississippi.

And, she’s making a newspaper work—because it actually serves the community. The Jackson Free Press has news, kultur, laffs (we love that Jackson Breland loves Jabari Toins), and investigative powers beyond that of our Gannett-funded, and oft-furloughed, daily. Newspapers aren’t dying because of internets: newspapers are dying because they quit offering a value.

Don’t you think I’d buy the Ledger every day if it had huge page-sized offerings from Frank King and Winsor McKay? Why would you think I’d buy it if you lay off Orley Hood and keep Rick Cleveland and Gary Pettus and Sid Salter riding the bench a week at a time?

I shan’t; I shan’t.

AND LO, THE CLARION-LEDGER SHALL DIE COLD IN ITS SLEEP, ALONE AND UNLOVED.

Midnight Rambler

faked by Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

So you know how Contessa and I had a baby a month ago? And you’re all like, “What, can he not get his stuff together well enough to teach his classes, raise his daughter, and tell us whether or not we should be buying Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers?”

But see, here’s a good example of my mental state: I got up to check the baby’s diaper last night. This should be automatic by now. Yet here were the steps I followed at approximately 2:30 am:

1. Go to the kitchen.
2. Get a bowl filled with leftover cereal milk from the sink.
3. Take down a stack of coffee filters.
4. Carry these items through the house with great purpose.
5. When called on my apparent insanity by Contessa, huffily go back to the kitchen.
6. Return with ONE coffee filter, carried with same amount of purpose.
7. Place it on coffee table, go to sleep on couch.

So, in conclusion, Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers features a promisingly rag-tag group of Avengers but can’t quite overcome the jarring tonal discordances of the script: Is it a psychologically probing rehabilitation of Hank Pym’s character? Is it lighthearted quippy-fun adventure? It can in fact be both of these things at once, but it is not yet, at least not successfully. If you want me to take your spin on Hank Pym’s character seriously, you should probably refrain from gags where it looks like he’s having sex with a robot. Just for instance. Maybe it will gel down the road.

(Also, since when did Hank Pym need rehabilitating anyway? Didn’t he get pretty thoroughly redeemed in a gradual years-long process that began with the “Lost in Space-Time” arc in West Coast Avengers and culminated with his being back with Jan again? I’m okay with ignoring these decades old stories, but let’s ignore them in the service of doing something new, for pete’s sake.)