May 8th, 2011

Peter G

The School Of Life Is In Session Again

Phoebe Prince, I am so sorry.

Longtime readers remember me writing quite extensively on Prince, a 15 year old student at South Hadley, Massachusetts.  She started dating a couple of guys that other girls wanted, and a concerted effort at bullying Prince began.  It continued to escalate until January 14, 2010.  Prince was yelled at in the school library and again as school let out.  She walked home crying, one student leaning out of his car and tossing an empty drink can at her.  Prince got home, and at 4:55PM, hung herself.

Since then, school officials have tried to cover their asses, saying that they took steps to stop the bullying once they were made aware of it.  This despite bullying not only continuing to occur, but one student who told a news crew that it hadn't stopped was slammed against a locker.  Massachusetts prosecutors decided to step in and announced criminal charges against six of the bullies.

Three of them entered plea deals.

On Friday, two more did.

Prince family dropped charges against the sixth.

None of them are paying for their crime.

All five got probation, no jail time.  Conditions include prohibitions on contacting Prince's family for three months, no profiting from the case for a year, and community service with at-risk or underprivileged youth.

Yeah.  That'll teach them.

David Sulivan is the DA for the Northwestern District, and said, "The defendants in these five cases have accepted responsibility for their actions and admitted that they engaged in criminal conduct toward Phoebe Prince in the weeks, days and hours before she took her life.  This signifies that bullying and harassment will not be tolerated in our schools; and when it rises to the level of criminal conduct, as it did in these five cases, those responsible will be prosecuted."

I just want the Establishment to shut up.  Just shut up and admit they don't really care.  If you can't be what you're supposed to be, at least be honest.

Phoebe Prince, please rest in peace.
This Makes Me Moist

New Frontiers In Safe Sex

America is a leader in scientific advances.  Italy and France are the leaders in food and art.  Japan is the leader in OMGWTF?!?

I'm a longtime Japanophile.  So I'm very familiar with the culture.  A culture that will create culture shock in record time under normal circumstances.  Now, incorporate Japanese sexual culture, and lesser mortals will feel their brains turn to mush.

Japanese researchers have invented a device that lets you French kiss someone over the Internet.

How nice, it's multi-platform.  This will not help the reputation of computer users as socially awkward and isolated.

Okay, if you're like me, you looked at the picture and wondered how this was supposed to work.  Well, you put the straw in your mouth and French it.  The movements you make are then beamed over the Internet to the other person's device, and it mimics it.

Wow.  I'm getting hard just thinking about it.

Since we are talking data, that means the movements can be recorded and stored.  I'm suddenly having visions of porn stars offering data files on their sites.

I guess I shouldn't complain.  Since certain people will never leave their house, it removes them from the dating pile.

Redefining "False Gods"

After years of soft-pedaling Thor to make it acceptable to a wide audience (the Norse viking trapped in the hammer during the Hulk TV movie), Marvel went balls out and made a Thor movie in line with the comic book, pissing off Christians with pagan gods be damned.  Some people were objecting to Heimdall being black.  Well, there's another group complaining now, saying that Thor misrepresents their gods and is offensive:

The truth is, I looked at the toys in my hands and I saw the result of millions of dollars of development and thousands of hours of manpower, put into something bearing the name of a god, my god, and it had nothing to do with me. Their Thor was a god forgotten by all except the few quiet geeks who read his adventures in Journey into Mystery and The Mighty Thor for forty years. It wasn't that they meant to upset or unsettle me; they simply realized that people like me were too few to matter. It's impossible to think of a story about Jesus like this, not written to pander to or irritate Christians, but simply not considering them at all.

All I know is, for once, we Christians aren't to blame for the pagans getting pissed off.  It's a nice change of pace.

The Doctor Is Out

There's a reason us longtime comic readers don't trust Jim Shooter.  Just the last posts I've made about him proclaiming himself blameless for major fuck-ups in comic history (Hank Pym being a wife beater, the Kirby art clusterfuck), claiming Valiant was trying to shaft him for moving Doctor Solar and the like to Dark Horse while they violated his human rights, all that shit.  Shooter is never at fault, there's always an excuse for his behavior, and anyone that says otherwise is out to get him and a rotten human being.  Kind of reminds me of dealing with my sister.

When the Gold Key line-up went to Dark Horse, there were threats of lawsuits and stories about how Shooter unfairly played Valiant to score the deal.  Dark Horse paid a lot of money, not just for the Gold Key license, but also to Shooter to write and helm things.  Old Valiant fans (I'm not among them, I have most of the Valiant comics because I had a chance to write for Acclaim when they wanted to relaunch Valiant and I found nearly complete runs of all their titles in the quarter boxes) were enthusiastic about seeing these tentpoles of their happy days again.  Others of us weren't sure.  Since he left Valiant the first time, Shooter's projects tend to fizzle out after about a year.  Defiant crashed and burned after about a year.  Broadway didn't make it a year.  And here he was, getting on the merry-go-round again.

Ride's over.

Doctor Solar, Magnus Robot Fighter, and Turok Son Of Stone have just gotten dropped.  What happened?  Good question.  Longtime Shooter partner Janet Jackson (no, not the singer) posted her explanation --

Unfortunately, Dark Horse has cancelled the books. They are doing a few more, I think to finish out enough issue to do trade PB, but because of the high price of the license from Classic Media, dropping sales figures as well as increasing interference from Classic Media into the content of the comics, Dark Horse decided to drop the books. They still like Jim and want to work with him on some things. He's still very disappointed. But Classic Media is asking too much for too little and they've caused problems as well.

I'm so sorry to have to tell you. Or to even have to say it. It's very disappointing. I was really loving the stories.

I would like to point out that Shooter is totally not at fault in the above explanation.  I point it out because Dark Horse is saying there were never any problems with Classic Media.  Dark Horse has been doing licensed properties since the B&W days with Aliens.  They know how to handle these things.

On Babylon 5, the Minbari don't lie, they just don't tell the complete truth.  Why am I thinking about THAT all of a sudden?
Peter G

Thoughts About Doctor Who

Neil Gaiman's episode is next week, not this week.  Good.  This episode was kind of weak.  I have higher expectations from Gaiman.

There appears to be a common theme running through this season, and it's the color scheme of red and blue.  We've seen this in Blade Runner.  It's also used for the girls in Evangelion.  It's also been used in the Lindsay Lohan bomb, I Know Who Killed Me.  Using the two opposite colors is used to highlight things.  The siren put this foremost in my mind.  Rewatching the episode, there are subtle little bits about it.  Amy's fingernail polishes switches between colors.  So does the Doctor's tie.  Amy's Schrodinger pregnancy.  There are definitely two timelines here, with two Doctors running around.

I am about to take a WAG (Wild Ass Guess) what is happening here.

The second timeline is the timeline from Classic Who, the old episodes from the days of William Hartnell up to McGann.  The Doctor that is doing to die is the one from that timeline, effectively severing everything.  After all, if the current timeline is the only one, why does the Doctor still have the Time Lord summoning cube from the end of War Games (Gaiman has said we would see something from Who continuity we haven't seen in ages).  There have been rumors that the Time Lords will be appearing sometime this season.  What if the two timelines are threatening to merge, destabilizing everything?  And the other Doctor, seeing as how there can be only one, wants to make sure that one is him?

In The Hannah Singer Stories, This Is What They Call A "Nuke"

Okay, you see this happy looking, well dressed man?

This fellow is Mister Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson.  He is the Pagan High Priest of Iceland.  He has seen the Thor movie.

His feelings?  Pagans should stop complaining, it's just a movie.

His stance is that Nordic legends have been translated into so many different media over the last two or three hundred years (does the name "Wagner" ring a bell?), that this is just another one and nothing to get upset about.

I would offer to buy this guy a drink, but given the reputation of the Nordic people, it would probably be cheaper for me to buy for Mark Millar instead.