GABBLER RECOMMENDS: ”Joker’ Is Wild … ly Dull’ by Glen Weldon

But the film so desperately strives to reject comic book trappings — so aches to be seen as edgy, provocative, serious, adult — that it simply apes the tone, style and content of other, better, edgier and more provocative films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy and Fight Club.

But the film doesn’t care — it’s too busy exuding a sense of self-satisfaction, a preening, self-consciously provocative challenge to an audience — a humanity — it holds in pitched contempt.

Joker thinks of itself as urgent, relevant, of the moment and — mostly, unrelentingly — not just another silly superhero movie. Ultimately, however, it devotes so much of its energy into not being about a comic book villain that it neglects being about … much of anything, really.


Gabbler Recommends: ‘Taking Flight, The Throne, Or The Spellbook: The Ways We Process Anxiety Over Women In Power’

“I think women are held to the impossible standard of having to be perfect, not being allowed to make mistakes,” Miller said of her giving more voice to the inner life of Circe. “The ancient Greek heroes made horrendous mistakes all the time — Odysseus and Achilles are full of flaws, as much as they’re full of virtues and strengths. So I wanted Circe to make mistakes, and be flawed, and to not have the answers. Women should be allowed to be just as messy and complicated as the male heroes have been by right for centuries.”



See also:





#TBT – NPR and Automatons

“Elizabeth King, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, describes how–according to legend–Philip II held up his end of the bargain with the help of a renowned clockmaker and an intricate invention. Jad and Latif head to the Smithsonian to meet curator Carlene E. Stephens, who shows them the inner workings of a nearly 450-year-old monkbot. ”  [Via]

Listen to Radiolab’s podcast here: 

On “I Am Providence”

“Mamatas isn’t trolling, exactly — in his admittedly merciless way, he’s laying bare the dysfunction, arrogance, and entitlement of Lovecraft fandom, and geek culture at large, with the finesse of a sociologist. A cruel sociologist, but still. At the same time, the plot involves arcane tomes bound in flesh and other such Cthulhu-tastic tropes; Mamatas celebrates the weirdness and wonder of Lovecraft even as he subverts the writer and his followers.

But does it all make for a good mystery? Mostly yes. Colleen is both an intrepid investigator and a funny, wise, charismatic protagonist, and the plot unwinds breezily at an Agatha Christie-esque pace. And Panossian, for all his beyond-the-grave crankiness, is an absorbing narrator, even though it becomes clear that he’s basically a mouthpiece for Mamatas himself.

The biggest problem with I Am Providence is its insularity. As deep as the book gets, it’s equally narrow, and no matter how accessible Mamatas makes his mystery, it’s still mired in the in-fighting and minutia of a subculture that few can relate to. But he does play with some universal themes, up to and including our fascination with fantasy and horror in general, and why that sometimes crosses over into pathology, hatred, and fanaticism. In that sense, I Am Providence is pointed social commentary wrapped in a bilious in-joke — but one that’s more than worth getting in on.”



[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Ghostwriter for “Art of the Deal” on Why Donald Trump should not be president:

‘”One of the chief things I’m concerned about is the limits of his attention span, which are as severe as any person I think I’ve ever met,” Schwartz says. “No matter what question I asked, he would become impatient with it pretty quickly, and literally, from the very first time I sat down to start interviewing him, after about 10 or 15 minutes, he said, ‘You know, I don’t really wanna talk about this stuff, I’m not interested in it, I mean it’s over, it’s the past, I’m done with it, what else have you got?’ ”

The idea of a president in an “incredibly complex and threatening world who can’t pay attention is itself frightening,” Schwartz says.

Add to that the fact that Trump is so easily provoked, that what Schwartz calls Trump’s insecurity “makes him incredibly reactive whenever he feels threatened, which is very, very often.”

As an example, Schwartz says, his interview in The New Yorker came out on Monday. On Tuesday, he received “a long and threatening letter from his lawyer designed, I think, to muzzle me.”

“For 25 years, I think Trump has done a very, very effective job of muzzling anyone who has worked for him or with him by signing very, very strict nondisclosure agreements before they start working with him,” Schwartz says. “It just turns out that I started with him so early that he hadn’t thought of it yet.”

“The reason I’m stepping up is because no one else seems to be free or willing to do so,” Schwartz says. “Believe me, it is not fun.”‘


See also: Why Literature Is No Longer Art.