Fume-Induced Divine Ramblings

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Making the Phoenix Work

Above: The iconic panel when the Dark Phoenix snacked on a star and toasted several billions living beings. This post was prompted by Marvel’s inability to handle strong women characters.

As muddled as Jean Grey’s story became I can’t help but think it didn’t have to be so messy. As I understand Chris Claremont’s conception of the Phoenix’s powers they are not unlimited. The young Phoenix was even defeated by Magneto one time. The Phoenix was basically a battery of potentially unlimited capacity… but she still had to be charged up with something external.

When attempting to repair the M’Kraan Crystal she wasn’t strong enough, she needed the life forces of two teammates. Of course, in the panel above she really charged herself up and became pretty unstoppable. But a good writer could have limited the Phoenix’s access to that much power and kept her as a team member. Many have said that having such a powerful team member renders the other X-Men obsolete and I completely disagree. Having a cosmically-powered Phoenix is one thing but the Phoenix before the whole eating star incident had limits.

Next time, I’ll try to formulate Grant Morrison’s ingenious way of getting rid of both Phoenix and Jean Grey (that bastard!).

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Filed under: curios, hmmm, random

Dying of Consumption

There was a substantial windfall last month. I finally came to the following conclusions regarding that money:

  1. Buying an Apple Cinema Display is asinine since my MacBook will be slowed down.
  2. Buying an iPhone will be chumpy since I’d have to pay at least $150 just to cancel the Verizon contract.
  3. Buying a MacBook Pro is imbecilic because I’ve not had my MacBook for even a year and it appears all the Apple laptops will be refreshed around September.
  4. Buying a flatscreen TV may not be a bad idea.

The problem is that of all the geeky electronics listed above the only one that really tugs at my heart is the iPhone. However, my financial sense holds me back. I still remember when I used to be in debt a few years back when I was coming out of college. There was definitely a sense of purpose and triumph when I buckled down and whittled down my $3,000 debt to zero. Now I promptly pay my credit card twice a month and make sure the credit card company makes no money off of me. The credit company actually sends me money since I have a rewards card. But I also keep thinking that all of the things I listed are completley unecessary. . . I’m acting as if the money is burning in my pocket. Sometimes I have to be reminded that all I need is a coffee, a book and some sunlight to derive lots of satisfaction.

Filed under: money

Caganers: All Too Human

The little peasant is squatting. He’s already evacuated. There’s a brown pile there and it’s surprisingly realistic. Oh, the Catalans and their scatological fixation. I’m continually fascinated when I think about caganer figurines. What does this mean for a people? What does this mean for a culture?

Not only do the figurines exist, they are placed in Nativity scenes! Imagine preparing the solemn Nativity scene with shepherds, animals, Mary, Joseph, Magi, etc. . . and then placing a little figurine hidden away and squatting.

Something happened when the Conquistadores were crossing the Atlantic. As far as I know, Latin America is lacking this scatological component. We do not casually mention shitting on the communion wafer. In Mexico shitting on anything is not used as an insult, shitting is shameful. What does this mean about Catalans and Spaniards? On the one hand, I admire the idea that even at this great cosmic moment – the birth of the Savior – we mere humans still had to poop. I admire the figurines of famous people squatting and pooping. Yes, Zapatero, Bush, and the Pope all poop (and caganers of all of these people have been made). But on the other hand, isn’t this larger scatological fixation kind of weird?

Filed under: curios, images, wtf

Soviet Russia’s Vinni Pukh

I hate Winnie the Pooh. I hate his voice, he’s bland, he lacks charm, etc. Imagine my surprise when I found the Soviet version of Winnie the Pooh and completely fell in love with it! Not only is the animation charming, Vinni Pukh looks more like a bear, he has a cute raspy voice and he’s a little not-so-bright troublemaker. The episode I’m embedding teaches kids to be considerate when visiting. It’s just hypnotic and comforting for some reason:

If you find this mildly entertaining, then I suggest heading over to this think in pictures essay called Winnie the Pooh in Russia, it’s very well done.

Filed under: curios

Let’s Try It Again

I’m going to try again. For me, maintaining a blog seems to follow a pattern. I started with a collaborative blog that seemed to die after a few weeks. My next attempt was a personal finance blog, that lasted a few months and then died (I think it’s still out there). My latest attempt is this blog and after the trip to Europe I sort of let it die. Today, while walking around the National Mall and re-reading Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style, I started thinking about how I want to do creative things. I have all this cool software and how-to books but I don’t really create. I want to create. I can appreciate beautiful things but I want to do more than just appreciate.

At some point in my walk I started thinking about writing and this blog. If you can’t even update a simple blog on a routine basis how will you improve your writing? Determined, I walked to Caribou Coffee. Here I am.

Let’s try this again.

Filed under: hmmm

Apollyon

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
August 2008
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