Friday, September 14, 2007

The Week That Was (9/10 - 9/14)

'Rescue Me' Season Finale: "And so the most disjointed season of the already disjointed series ends on . . . a disjointed episode. I suppose if you're going to be wildly inconsistent, you may as well be consistent about that. Or something." - Alan Sepinwall, "Rescue Me: Take me out to the ballgame," What's Alan Watching, 9/13/07. Like many of the commenters to Mr. Sepinwall's post, I too forsook Denis Leary's fireman drama several weeks ago, as it became especially apparent this season that it was nothing but a vanity project for Leary. There are only so many episodes he can produce in which he inexplicably falls into the arms of inexplicably beautiful women at the expense of plot and character development before a viewer flees. "Rescue Me" began as a gritty series about firemen coping with loss and love in the wake of September 11. It has become a parody of itself as Leary has centered the show solely around his character's kooky and out of character hijinks. Alas.

Iron Man Trailer:
"Great moments are achieved by subtlety not by the TOTAL RUINATION OF THE AD BY INCLUDING THE OPENING DISTORTED VOICE EFFECT 'I AM IRON MAN' FROM BLACK SABBATH’S 'IRON MAN' SONG AS THE MOVIE TITLE IRON MAN IS PRINTED IN A BLADE OF IRON. Wait did you miss it? He’s IRON MAN." - Steven G. Harms, "Dorky or Awesome? Iron man and 'Iron Man',", 9/12/07. (emphasis in original). 'Nuff said on that horrid aesthetic choice, although Mr. Harms takes an unnecessary jab at another superhero actor, Tobey Maguire, who has adequately played the role of Peter Parker in at least two Spider-Man films.

Disputation of The League on the Power and Efficacy of Comic Contrivances:
"There are just some odd conceits of comics that make me roll my eyes. " - The League, "Things I Could Do Without Seeing In Comics Ever Again," The League of Melbotis, 9/10/07. Damn right. The League, issuing 14 theses proscribing certain cliches in comic books, should become an editor in that industry. So tiresome are the contrivances he identifies that it is a shock - a shock! - that they were not eliminated ages ago. But writers, particularly hack writers, are creatures of habit, and comic auteurs return again and again to familiar devices which have worked in the past. He is particularly correct in his assessment that such writers should abandon time travel as a plot mechanism, as it is "too complicated" and "rarely handled well." To that I would add only that too many writers, when using that as a device, are internally inconsistent in their usage of time travel, i.e. they begin with the premise that events and actions are fated and temporally immutable and then waffle into the opposite belief that timelines are fluid and may be changed with ease and aplomb. (The writers and producers of NBC's "Heroes" committed this cardinal sin last season when they abandoned a world of fate for a fateless reality in which the future, any future, is unwritten.). Pick a theory, writers.

What is truth? "I do not expect to ever discover the 'truth' of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Furthermore, such a goal is unnecessarily ambitious. Nevertheless, pragmatic considerations alone prove our current understanding of these events inadequate." - horus kemwer, "9/11," Against the Modern World, 9/11/07. In an interesting and thoughtful post on rival conspiracy theories, horus kemwer pauses on the sixth anniversary of September 11 to reflect upon our current understanding of what took place that fateful Tuesday in 2001. In sum, he concludes that there are enough issues and inconsistencies to merit additional governmental review of the events of, and the response to, that day. I'm not certain I agree, although based on this post, I'm not certain I would include horus kemwer in the fringe on this issue. As with the JFK assassination, there are those who believe that the absence of any evidence, direct or circumstantial, is itself proof of a successful conspiracy. Kemwer rightly points out that 9/11 is, in any analysis, a "conspiracy." (There was no lone gunman on 9/11, and thus, whatever you believe about that day, it was by definition a conspiracy.). But for those who (wrongly, foolishly, angrily) argue that the U.S. government permitted 9/11 to occur or acted with malice aforethought (and kenwer does not appear to be among those ranks), no reasonable re-analysis of evidence will dissuade them of such beliefs. So why bother to put for another study for those who unreasonably cling to such beliefs?

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