Pixel Scroll 7/10/18 A Tick In The Box Might Be Quite Pixellental But Comments Are A Scroll’s Best File

(1) SEUSS STRIKES OUT. The Seuss estate just lost its lawsuit against another parody, a play called “Who’s Holiday!” which sounds a lot darker than The Places You’ll Boldly Go. Kevin Underhill of Lowering the Bar has the story: “Second Circuit: Lewd “Grinch” Parody Doesn’t Infringe”.

The Second Circuit held on Friday that what Reuters called a “lewd and profane” stage version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” did not infringe on the original, affirming the district court’s decision in favor of playwright Matthew Lombardo and against Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

I was not previously aware of this work, but Reuters’ summary makes it clear that it departs in some significant ways from the Dr. Seuss classic:

The dispute began when Lombardo in 2016 was preparing to stage “Who’s Holiday!” a one-woman play featuring an adult version of Cindy Lou Who, the endearing girl who in Seuss’ story stops the Grinch from ending Christmas.

In contrast, the Cindy Lou Who in “Who’s Holiday!” has become a 45-year-old woman who spends her days in a trailer home while battling alcohol and substance abuse, following a stint in prison for murdering her husband, the Grinch.

(2) @%!$$!! SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, cybercaffing from the borough library, found he was unable to access his second- (third? one hundred fiftieth?) favorite blog, File 770. He told me via email —

Your site has just been blocked by all London libraries and schools for access apparently due to profanity.

Attached screenshot.

(Other screen filters elsewhere may similarly act????)

Thought you’d want to know.

I used to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China, but not anymore. How is it they can read me in China and not in a London library?

P.S. As you may know there is a workaround but you need to know you’re blocked to implement, hence my tipping you the nod.  — Hope this makes sense.

Absolutely. Rest assured, I never slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.

(3) LEE DROPS SUIT. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed: “Stan Lee Drops $1B Lawsuit Against POW! Entertainment for “Stealing” His Name and Likeness”.

Stan Lee has dismissed his $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment for fraud and conversion, less than two months after the suit was filed in his name.

“The whole thing has been confusing to everyone, including myself and the fans, but I am now happy to be surrounded by those who want the best for me,” Lee said in a statement. “I am thrilled to put the lawsuit behind me, get back to business with my friends and colleagues at POW! and launch the next wave of amazing characters and stories!”

POW! CEO Shane Duffy added, “We are ecstatic that this ill-founded lawsuit has been dismissed and we look forward to working with Stan again to develop and produce the great projects that were put on hold when the lawsuit was filed. We recently got together with Stan to discuss our path forward and we and [parent company] Camsing are pleased with his overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction.”

Lee filed the complaint in May in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming the company and two of its officers conspired to steal his identity, name and likeness in a “nefarious scheme” involving a “sham” sale to a Chinese company….

Variety adds:

…The move comes as turmoil continues in Lee’s personal life. The lawsuit was filed in May, when the 95-year-old Lee was allegedly under the sway of memorabilia collector Keya Morgan. Morgan is now barred from contacting Lee or coming within 100 yards of him, under a restraining order granted on Friday.

A joint statement was issued Monday by Lee and by POW! Entertainment, now owned by Hong Kong’s Camsing International, announcing that the suit had been dismissed….

(4) IMPULSE. The first 3 episodes of YouTube series Impulse are free.  You have to be a premium user to watch the whole series. (Note warning about depiction of sexual violence.)

(5) WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS. Zack Morrissette tweeted this mashup:


(6) STEADMAN ON AMERICA. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna has an interview with Ralph Steadman, who has an exhibition of his work (originally prepared and curated by Britain’s Cartoon Museum) now on exhibit at American University through August 1: “Ralph Steadman’s D.C. retrospective often shines a ‘gonzo’ light on America”.

SOMETIMES IT takes a prominent visiting writer or artist — from de Tocqueville to, say, Bono — to serve up a storyteller’s view of the United States that is one shot of awed wonder and two shots of bracing honesty. Along that continuum of colorful outsider perspectives sits Ralph Steadman, that savage ink-slinging satirist from Kent who depicts the land of the free as a minefield of bullies and blowhards and presidents, not necessarily in that order and not without some redundancy.

Steadman is the British/Welsh illustrator best known to the American masses as the journalistic “gonzo” accomplice of Hunter S. Thompson….

(7) DREAMTIME. “Thandie Newton Wants to See More Diversity in Sci-Fi” – a New York Times Magazine interview.

Your character Maeve in HBO’s “Westworld” is an android or “host” in a theme park. What do you think it means to have characters of color in genre work? A lot of what’s in the mainstream doesn’t have people of color. What irritates me is that science fiction is the place where you could have us. Science fiction is a projection of a time that hasn’t even happened, so if you don’t populate that place with people of different skin tones, shame on you. What it actually is is the reflection of what those makers do in their daily lives, how little they hang out with people of different skin tones. These are the key people and it’s like, “Oops-a-daisy, I don’t have a lot of black friends,” and that’s a reality.

Some of the stars in the new “Star Wars” films who are black and brown have found themselves being harassed on social media. Kelly Marie Tran, who was in last year’s “Star Wars” movie, just quit social media altogether because of harassment. Where there’s greatest progress, there’s greatest resistance. It’s a sign of getting somewhere if people get pissed about it….

(8) JAR (NOT JAR JAR). Chuck Wendig immediately complies with a fan’s request.


(9) EPISODE NINE EPISODE NINE EPISODE NINE. Not the Beatles — A.V. News found out the original Lando is making a comeback: “Billy Dee Williams to finally class up the Star Wars sequels in Episode IX”.

Now that Snoke is dead and the mystery of Rey’s parentage has been definitively addressed in a way that was clever and interesting (even if it didn’t live up to the internet’s boring fan theories), there’s only one lingering question that has plagued Star Wars fans: Where the hell has Lando Calrissian been since Return Of The Jedi? Well, it looks like we’re finally going to find out in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX, as The Hollywood Reporter’s sources have confirmed that Billy Dee Williams will be reprising his role as the galaxy’s smoothest gambler/smuggler/gas planet mayor in the next movie.

(10) NATIONAL MOURNING. Today’s Bristol Herald-Courier’s “News Quiz” features this question:

  1. U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes’ office confirmed that the White House initially declined to act on a request to lower the U.S. flag to half-staff after which event?
    1. The Fourth of July
    2. The deadly mass shooting at the Capital-Gazette office in Annapolis, Md.
    3. The death of science fiction writer Harlan Ellison
    4. The separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border

(11) FAREWELL, GARDNER. Michael Swanwick posted “Eight Pictures from the Gardner Dozois Memorial”: Christopher Casper, George R.R. Martin, Joe Haldeman, Samuel Delany, and others.

…All in all, a very sad event, laced with laughter.


  • July 10, 1962 — Telstar satellite launched.

Trans-Atlantic television and other communications became a reality as the Telstar communications satellite was launched. A product of AT&T Bell Laboratories, the satellite was the first orbiting international communications satellite that sent information to tracking stations on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Initial enthusiasm for making phone calls via the satellite waned after users realized there was a half-second delay as a result of the 25,000-mile transmission path.

  • July 10, 1981 Escape From New York premiered
  • July 10, 1981 Time Bandits debuted in the UK.


  • Born July 10, 1926 – Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster). (1926-1993)
  • Born July 10, 1929 – George Clayton Johnson (1929-2015)
  • Born July 10 – Chiwetel Ejiofor, 42. Roles in Serenity, Doctor Strange, the animated Sherlock Gnomes and The Martian. Yes Sherlock Gnomes voicing Watson.
  • Born July 10 — Peter Serafinowicz, 47. Lead role in The Tick and in the alien abduction series People of Earth, the voice of The Fisher King in Doctor Who, and a role in The Guardians Of The Galaxy 



“Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie played on a cricket team with Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the “Sherlock Holmes” series; “Winnie-the-Pooh” author A.A. Milne; novelist H.G Wells; and P.G. Wodehouse, author of the Jeeves and Wooster series; among other writers. They called themselves the Allahakbarries, a play on the Arabic “Allahu akbar,” which the men misinterpreted to mean “Heaven help us” but actually means “God is great.” The team was reportedly terrible.

(16) MAN OF BRONZE. MeTV invites you to “Check out the new James T. Kirk statue in the Iowa town sanctioned as the captain’s birthplace”.

During Trekfest XXXIV in Riverside, Iowa, a new statue was unveiled that pays tribute to Captain James T. Kirk. The statue is a life-sized bronze model of the Star Trek icon, and its the product of artist Jurek Jakowicz of Sioux Falls, S.D., and a slew of Trek fans in the Iowa community and beyond.

The idea for the statue, though, was sparked by a former Riverside councilman Steve Miller, who had a bigger vision for his town: to make it the properly sanctioned future birthplace of Captain Kirk. His efforts began in 1985 when he got in touch with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, to ask if he would sign off on Riverside as Kirk’s official hometown. Roddenberry called the idea “enterprising” and gave Miller the OK.

KCII radio covered the dedication on July 4.

Thirty-four years later Miller helped unveil the lifesize bronze statue of Kirk at this year’s Trekfest. At the unveiling Miller shared about his journey making Riverside the future birthplace of Kirk and getting a statue made, “The statue, like I said, has been a goal for years. I had two goals, get a statue of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk and to keep Paramount Studios from suing me, and so far we’ve succeeded in both of those!”

(17) SPINNING SILVER. The Book Smugglers’ Thea James and Ana Grilo do a “Joint Review: SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik”.

Thea says:

…This is a nuanced, intricate narrative that plays with the most powerful fairy tale tropes, written in a grace that Naomi Novik alone can achieve. There are patterns throughout the story, three daughters, three wives, three lives intertwined by fate and determination to rise above the “destiny” carved out for each of them by men in their lives. I love that our perception of these characters–and the men around them–also changes over the course of the story. There are monsters, to be sure–Wanda’s father for one, and the fire demon within Tsar Mirnatius, for another–but what I love so much about this story is how everyone is more than what they initially seem. Even the cruelest winter king is given depth and humility, if not humanity, as the novel unfolds….

Ana says:

…For us as readers, we can only see what they see, and I was flabbergasted at how the author was able to twists their stories, the stories of the men around them, and myself around her little finger. The journey was excellent – in the way that the real story slowly unveiled itself in minutia, in gestures, in the things hidden in silence….

(18) THE LARD BE WITH YOU. Lissa Townsend Rodgers of Extra Crispy confesses: “I Made the Strangest Recipe in Vincent Price’s Cookbook”.

Published in 1971, Cooking Price-Wise contains wisdom like, “In the thirteenth century cheese was used as a substitute for cement in England, when the cheese got stale, that is. I don’t advocate keeping your cheese that long just to find out if it works.” Chapters on bacon, potatoes, and fish contain recipes that seemed exotic at the time. “People always seem afraid of food from other countries,” Price writes. He attempts to shake them out of their comfort zone with Fish Fillets Nord Zee, Moroccan Tajine [sic], and Biffes de Lomo Rellenos.

As I was scanning Cooking Price-Wise for a recipe to make, I saw two magic words—words that have been in many of my favorite dishes, but have never been put together before. I’m talking about bacon and mousse. Here is Vincent price’s recipe for bacon mousse….

(19) CRIMES AGAINST THE OZONE. The mystery release of ozone-layer-depleting chemicals reported on in File 770 earlier (see the 2nd half of item 11 here) has apparently been tracked down. The NGO Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) is reporting that the banned chemical CFC-11 is being used as a “blowing agent” in the production of cheap insulation in China’s home construction industry. Quoting the BBC article “Ozone hole mystery: China insulating chemical said to be source of rise”

Researchers from the EIA, a green campaign group, contacted foam manufacturing factories in 10 different provinces across China. From their detailed discussions with executives in 18 companies, the investigators concluded that the chemical is used in the majority of the polyurethane insulation the firms produce.

One seller of CFC-11 estimated that 70% of China’s domestic sales used the illegal gas. The reason is quite simple – CFC-11 is better quality and much cheaper than the alternatives.

“We were absolutely gobsmacked to find that companies very openly confirmed using CFC-11 while acknowledging it was illegal,” Avipsa Mahapatra from EIA told BBC News.

“The fact that they were so blasé about it, the fact that they told us very openly how pervasive it is in the market, these were shocking findings for us.”

(20) ASK THE MAN WHO OWNS ONE. Adrian Tchaikovsky, 2016 Clarke Award winner, gives his rundown of this year’s finalists: “At the Eleventh Hour: The Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist 2018”. For example:

Dreams Before the Start of Time – Anne Charnock, 47North

Anne Charnock is having a good year, frankly, having already picked up a BSFA Award at Easter (and a good career, having been shortlisted for a Kitchie and a Phillip K Dick award previously). She’s a thought-provoking and insightful writer and Dreams is a very different sort of book to the others on the list. It’s a gentle look at three generations of several interlinked families over the next hundred years or so, and its focus is very much speculation about the family structure and child-bearing, how these things may change (entirely believably) in the near future, and what knock-on effects those changes could have….

(21) DITKO. NPR’s Glen Weldon pays tribute to the late comics genius in “Remembering Steve Ditko: Forget Kirby Dots, Let’s Talk Ditko Sparkles”.

First, let’s tick off those facets of his work that left such an impression on people.

First, his faces.

Or, technically, his fondness for their absence, in whole or in part.

Consider: Here was a guy who put his hero — and not just any hero, but freaking Spider-Man, whose whole deal is just how achingly, embarrassingly relatable, and friendly, and (not to put too fine a point on it) downright neighborhoody he is, in a full-face mask.

Let’s agree: That was a gutsy move. Sure, Batman had been around for decades, and his cowl covered something like 5/6ths of his big ol’ melon’s surface area, but Bruce’s chin and mouth were exposed, so at least you could see him grimace, or gasp, or smile (it was 1962, Batman still smiled back then). Comics are a visual medium — readers need to see the characters’ facial expressions to stay emotionally engaged.

But Ditko loved drawing inscrutable faces — masked, half-masked, or sunk in shadows….

(22) BREAKTHROUGH DELAYED. Yin Yijun analyzes “The Three-Book Problem: Why Chinese Sci-Fi Still Struggles” at Sixth Tone.

Liu Cixin’s epic trilogy was expected to take Chinese science fiction into a new era, but the genre is still far from its lofty ambitions.

…The editors and Liu opted to serialize “The Three-Body Problem” in Science Fiction World, which at the time had a 200,000 nationwide circulation. They were worried that Chinese readers wouldn’t be especially interested in sci-fi compared to other literature genres, but hoped that “The Three-Body Problem” could open up a new chapter for Chinese sci-fi.

And it did — for a time.

In 2015, the first installment of “The Three-Body Problem” trilogy won the prestigious Hugo Award for best novel, triggering media coverage and large-scale public attention — including, famously, an endorsement by former U.S. President Barack Obama. It increased the profile of Chinese sci-fi both domestically and internationally, and raised the possibility that sci-fi could finally extend beyond the pages of novels. In 2014, after the English-language translation was published, Chinese movie production house Yoozoo Pictures announced that it would adapt the series into a six-part motion picture.

But the much-hyped movie never happened. Filming took place in the first half of 2015, and the first movie was scheduled to premiere in July 2016. Over the past three years, the schedule has been continuously pushed back, in part due to sky-high expectations for visual effects and an unexpected company restructure.

There’s been no news recent news about “The Three-Body Problem” movie, but after a report in March that Amazon’s on-demand service planned to create a television show of the series, Yoozoo reiterated that it was the franchise’s legal copyright holder for all types of adaption. At a group interview with Sixth Tone and other media outlets during the anniversary meeting, Liu — who is serving as the project’s chief consultant — directed all questions about the movies to Yoozoo. For now, “The Three-Body Problem” remains hamstrung by its lack of visual depictions; it can hardly monetize certain aspects of the stories like international franchise “Star Wars” has been able to do with lightsabers if there are no movie or game representations.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Vicki Rosenzweig, StephenfromOttawa, Jonathan Cowie, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Alan Baumler, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

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63 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/10/18 A Tick In The Box Might Be Quite Pixellental But Comments Are A Scroll’s Best File

  1. (1) Never sue over a parody. The more you want it not to be seen, the quicker you should slap down any suggestion of suing over it, because all that does is promote it.

  2. 16) Maybe it’s the lighting angle or something, but that doesn’t look much like Shatner’s Kirk to me — or Pine’s either, for that matter. OTOH, a trip to Riverside is on my bucket list, if we can ever leverage it around something else.

    19) That kind of “Yeah, it’s illegal, what are you going to do about it?” attitude is becoming more and more prevalent in a lot of places. And indeed, who is there to do anything about it, if China’s government decides to ignore the ban and they’re manufacturing the stuff for themselves?

  3. Lee: True. I was thinking it looks about as much like Kirk as the Heinlein bust in the Hall of Famous Missourians looked like him.

  4. I purchased a signed first edition of the Vincent Price book as a gift for my son-in-law, who is an executive chef at an overpriced restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ. To my chagrin he had no idea who Price was. He does now!!!

  5. 16) Yeah, that’s neither Old nor NuKirk. To me, it looks more like Christopher Pike.

    In other news, I finished Revenant Gun, and talk about sticking the landing. All three books did exactly what I want a series to do–deepen the characters, expand the world, answer (almost) all the questions. It’s my first 5-star read of 2018.

  6. 16) Yes, he doesn’t really look like either of the Kirks. Though I’m always happy to see SFF and genre related statues in the US, cause we don’t have genre-related statues in Germany.

    For those who are interested, I have another post up at Galactic Journey. This one is about Perry Rhodan, a subject that came up a couple of times here.

    And since we were talking about Pokémon Go a few scrolls back, I haven’t been playing for long, but my trainer code is: 3189 9821 0314

  7. (1) Looks good to eventually see the Star Trek book.

    (2) Gosh darn it.

    (9) YES!!!

    (15) I did not know that.

    (16) Okay… now who the hell is that? What’s with all the statues and busts lately not looking anything like the person they’re supposed to be? Is Paramount not suing b/c they don’t know who it’s supposed to be, either?

    (18) I could do without the horseradish.

  8. 18) It is a very good cook book. I brought it out at a party just this saturday and people oooh-ed and aaah-ed at it for quite a while.

  9. (18) I am reminded of Chuck Wendig’s latest sandwich creation, the Wendigo – consisting of mayo, peanut butter, pickles, and (of course) bacon. I’ve eaten some odd sammiches in my day, but I shan’t be trying that one.

    Regarding the issue of SF as political content, yesterday was Free Double Feature Day for me. (I was able to use one MovieCash voucher to buy two tickets: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp.) JWFK contained two very obvious jabs at Trump, although the first is easily missable. Neither is a spoiler, so…

    Early on, a scene of Isla Nublar suffering a natural disaster is framed as footage from a cable news show, serving as the backdrop to a discussion about whether the U.S. government should act to save the dinosaurs. On the chyron at the bottom of the frame appeared a headline to the effect that the President was questioning the very existence of dinosaurs. (No, I didn’t note the exact wording.)

    Later, after a dino vet tears into a big game hunter, the hunter steps outside and calls the vet a “nasty woman.”

    This is why I resist the whole “coded movie politics” thesis. If Hollywood wants to make a statement, they don’t have to be subtle about it. They’ll just say it. See also the Supergirl TV series, among others.

  10. 16) My guess is that this is intended to be a statue of Kirk the character, not a statue of Shatner or Pine playing Kirk.

  11. In other news, I finished Revenant Gun, and talk about sticking the landing. All three books did exactly what I want a series to do–deepen the characters, expand the world, answer (almost) all the questions. It’s my first 5-star read of 2018.

    I want to give copies of MoE to everybody, but I am stopped by the fact that while I love Ninefox Gambit to bits now, there is no denying that it’s not exactly an easy read. The series in itself is absolutely stunning.

    In related news, I am reading Conservation of Shadows and can somebody please explain Ghostweight to me? I am feeling very stupid.

  12. Don’t know about an explanation, but Ghostweight did seem like one of the bigger showcases for the dreamlike tendencies of YHL’s writing (along with Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain, which was my introduction to him)

  13. 16) I’m going to have to go see this the next time I go through Iowa. but it frankly doesn’t look much like Kirk to me.

    20) It does seem that Adrian has been slowly building his skills and genre rep, becoming a greater and greater force. I’m still upset at how hard it was to find his Kinden novels here for the longest while, but now he is hitting his stride and telling all sorts of stories.

    Always with weird insects though, even in THE EXPERT SYSTEM’S BROTHER.

  14. “The minute you ticked in the box
    I could see you were a fan of distinction, a real big scroller…”

  15. @18: cute title, but ISTM there’s no lard even by indirection; I’m guessing this uses English bacon, which is like what the US calls “Canadian bacon” except not rolled up.

    @Lee re @17: my reaction also. I was wondering if it were some sort of compromise between the husky Shatner and the ectomorphic Pine. It isn’t as if they didn’t have lots of pictures (unlike (e.g.) the locally-infamous Statue of the Three Lies. I suppose it could be some abstraction of the character (per @Niall), but ISTM it shouldn’t be just some bloke in an OST uniform — with bronze they can’t even clearly show he’s command track (although I suspect there’s some subtle insignia to distinguish him from non-captain goldshirts).

    @Bonnie McDaniel (continuing) ISTM that the face is too tall for (at least the original) Pike, who had a smaller head but the same relatively wide face (similar to Shatner)

  16. @Chip Hitchcock
    The sleeve stripes are pretty clear.
    The statue looks vaguely like TOS Kirk, to me.

  17. (1) The tricky bit of parody is that it has to do more than simply be humorous and borrow from some other work. It has to have some element of parodying what it borrows from. Which can be a fuzzy line. A lot of filk, for example, would probably not count as a parody of the musical original–but a lot would. (Fortunately, most of it will fly under the radar in either case.) So this case doesn’t magically resolve things for other cases.

    Now, I personally think that Oh the Places You’ll Boldly Go (or whatever its called) probably does qualify as parody. And this may strengthen the case for that. But it might not.

    (16) Maybe it’s Kirk from ST: The Animated Series? 🙂

  18. @Rev Bob. Yes, also see the Purge movies (not necessarily literally see them, more figuratively, ahem. Ykwim. Or see the Honest trailer about them or their commentary about their trailer about them. Ahm. My word processor seems to be broken today, good bye)

  19. Taken on its face, the idea behind the “Purge” movies (as I understand it from trailers; I’m certainly never going to see one of them) is ludicrous. A sanctioned day of crime where all crime is legal with absolutely no consequences? This is supposed to somehow boost the economy? WHOLE CITIES WOULD BURN DOWN. How, exactly, does that boost the economy? As a sfnal idea, it doesn’t hold water. (As an expression of racism and classism, well, ok, I can see that.)

  20. @Peer:

    I saw Purge: Election Year on cable because I couldn’t find anything better in the listings and didn’t feel like getting up to put in a disc. Aside from noting that the candidate was the pastor from the latest season of The Expanse, I was underwhelmed. At least there was some semblance of a plot, though; it was not, as I had half-expected, merely a tour of various murder scenarios.

    ETA, @Cassy: At least in P:EY, it wasn’t an economic stimulus. It was supposed to be a pressure valve, and at least one faction added a cultish religious aspect to it, treating the Purge as a cleansing sacrament.

  21. Rev. Bob, Ah; I thought I’d remembered that in one trailer some fool of a politician justified it as an economic stimulus. Could be my faulty memory.

    Regardless, a “pressure valve” that would cause untold millions (billions?) in property damage, not to mention the lingering social damage from rape, murder, mutilation, and what-have-you strikes me as ludicrous. Better to release the pressure by, oh, I dunno, enacting fair laws and equal justice….

  22. Re: “The Purge”

    How would the insurance industry deal with it? I think the whole concept would be dropkicked by Nationwide & their cohorts.

  23. Then there are all the people in the real world who declared that if the Purge became real they would… plant vegetables in their front lawn, or give street people money in places where that’s illegal, or build (secure) stairs and ramps without waiting for permits, or the like, breaking bylaws to the betterment of society.

  24. The statue doesn’t look like any Kirk I know. It seems to resemble Martin Milner during his Adam-12 years, however.

  25. Re: 12) The importance of Telstar, and its impact on pop culture cannot be overstated. It may well have been bigger than Glenn’s flight, at least in terms of how much news coverage it got and continued to get for months.

    And, of course, there was no hit song called “Friendship 7” 🙂

  26. I wonder if they just took some generic male figure and sculpted a quick and dirty Star Trek uniform on it.

  27. Oh The Purge is bad, but they do make political points, up to calling a senator (president?) Donald T.
    IIRC the idea was to use the purge to get rid of the homeless and poor, bc they cant safe themselves. Its very much on the nose though (which was my point, re: filmakers would make a statement, if they want to)

  28. Talking of offbeat statues, in the North West German town of Vechta, where I taught at the university, there is a historical figure named Lambert Sprengepiel, a local nobleman who commanded a troop of guerilla fighter during the Thirty Years War. Because Sprengepiel and his men knew the area so well, they could quickly vanish into the undergrowth and the moors after raids on the Swedish occupiers. This gave rise to all sorts of legend that Sprengepiel had made a pact with the devil and that he had supernatural powers. Some people also believed that he was a werewolf and he can still be heard howling on the moors to this day.

    It’s a cool legend with a kernel of historical truth. The city museum has an exhibition dedicated to Sprengepiel and eventually, the town of Vechta also decided to put up a statue to honour him. So they commissioned a statue of Lambert Sprengepiel – in werewolf form.

  29. @Rob Thornton:

    In P:EY, one of the plot points is that a shop owner’s Purge insurance company raised his rates a few days before the event. This is why he’s guarding his store himself when the political plot comes by.

  30. Is this more sci-fi?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a pixel
    No escape to reality
    Open your files
    Look up on the web and see…

    I’m just a pixel
    Not a John Williams symphony
    Because I’m easy come, easy go
    Scrolling high, scroll low
    Any way the pix scrolls
    Doesn’t really matter to me, to me

    Mamaaa just filmed a cat
    Put a phone just near its head
    Pushed the shutter, as it fed
    Mamaaa, my likes have just begun
    But now I’ve gone and thrown them all away
    Mamaaaaaa, ooooooooh
    Didn’t mean to make you share
    If I don’t tweet this time again tomorrow
    Carry on, carry on as if nothing viral matters

    Too late, my GIF has gone
    Of cat shivers down its spine
    Like it’s eating the sublime
    Goodbye, everybody
    I’ve got to mute
    Gonna leave social media to face the truth
    Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, oooooooh (Anyway the pix scrolls…)
    I don’t want these likes
    Sometimes wish I’d never posted it at all

    [Epic Guitar Solo]
    [Sudden change of tempo]

    I made an animated GIF of a dog
    Scary pooch, Scary pooch, will you do the Fandango?
    Bad contrast and lighting, very, very frightening me
    (Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo is irrelevant
    I’m just a pixel nobody loves me
    He’s just a pixel from a scroll family
    Spare him his life from this GIF travesty

    Easy come, easy go, will you post this scroll?
    Pixellah! No, we will not post this scroll
    (Post this scroll!)
    Pixellah! No, we will not post this scroll
    (Post this scroll!)
    Pixellah! We will not post this scroll
    (Post this scroll!)(Will not post this scroll)
    (Post this scroll!)(Will not post this scroll)
    (Never, never, never, never)
    Post this scro-o-o-oll
    No, no, no, no, no, no, no
    (Oh mama mia, mama mia) Mama Mia, ABBA is in this scroll!
    The iTunes Store put soundtrack aside for me, for me, for me!

    [Heavy rock break]

    So you think you can quote me and make fun of my cat?
    So you think you can repost that picture of it in a hat?
    Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby
    Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here

    [Guitar Solo]
    (Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)

    Nothing viral matters
    Anyone can see
    Nothing viral matters
    Everything viral matters to me

    Any way the pix scrolls….


  31. Well. That was a thing.

    (A pretty well done thing, though)

    And just in time, Under Pressure* kicks in on the music player.

    *(currently the only Queen song thereon, so as close as it could get. It tried, honestly…)

  32. @ various: Mileage varies. I have a friend who says he found Ninefox Gambit to be so ethically bankrupt that he has no interest in reading the sequels, and sometimes wonders about those who do. I haven’t read it myself, but this friend’s taste in books parallels mine very closely, which is enough to make me side-eye and be reluctant to pick it up.

    @ Gideon: Indeed, the name alone is enough to immediately pop up an earworm!

    @ Peer: Given the premise of The Purge, I think I’d take them at their word and go hunting Nazis. Maybe with friends, so we could play the Legolas and Gimli game.

    @ Camestros: Bravo!


    Camestros! Take a bow!

    That’s going straight to my blog’s sidebar, dammit.

  34. @Lee

    I have a friend who says he found Ninefox Gambit to be so ethically bankrupt

    That’s certainly true for the main character, as well as the evil empire s/he’s trying to overthrow. It all depends on whether you think the ends justify the means.

  35. Lee on July 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm said:
    @ various: Mileage varies. I have a friend who says he found Ninefox Gambit to be so ethically bankrupt that he has no interest in reading the sequels, and sometimes wonders about those who do. I haven’t read it myself, but this friend’s taste in books parallels mine very closely, which is enough to make me side-eye and be reluctant to pick it up.

    I would be very curious to know why. Admittedly there are really, really bad things that happen to various people, some of them nice, in Ninefox (and it gets worse in the following books), but it is pretty clear that the narrative does not condone them.

    That said, if you are liable to be triggered stay the FUCK away from this series.

  36. Bonnie McDaniel on July 11, 2018 at 2:25 pm said:

    I have a friend who says he found Ninefox Gambit to be so ethically bankrupt

    That’s certainly true for the main character, as well as the evil empire s/he’s trying to overthrow. It all depends on whether you think the ends justify the means.

    If for main character you mean Jedao, yes. Cheris is much better. I don’t like her as much, but she is certainly the one I would prefer to have in charge.

  37. Lee: I have a friend who says he found Ninefox Gambit to be so ethically bankrupt

    The empire, and its leaders, are incredibly ethically-bankrupt. But the rebel who manages to obtain a position of power does their best to leave people who are innocent and non-culpable out of the consequences of their actions — and often even protects them — in their attempted overthrow of the empire.

  38. JJ on July 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm said:
    Lee: I have a friend who says he found Ninefox Gambit to be so ethically bankrupt

    The empire, and its leaders, are incredibly ethically-bankrupt. But the rebel who manages to obtain a position of power does their best to leave people who are innocent and non-culpable out of the consequences of their actions — and often even protects them — in their attempted overthrow of the empire.

    Also, and since I have no access to Rot13 I need to phrase this carefully, but your ambiguously evil main character knows the Big Bad intimately, and he has every reason to be scared. Not just of the particular cruelty the Big Bad can exercise piecemeal, (because as somebody points out, yes ok you have brainwashing and ritual torture but the people don’t starve innit) but because the Big Bad is a fountain of technological innovation, and as my boy Mikodez rightly says “We can’t afford many more of his gifts”.

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