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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘superman

[NEWS] Five SF links: the novella, Kubrick on 2001, Supergirl vs Superman, TV fans, past writers

  • Jason Kehe at Wired suggests that now is the time of the science-fiction novella, not least because of their compact size.
  • Esquire links to a video in which Stanley Kubrick gives his definitive interpretation of the ending of the movie version of 2001.
  • Alex Cranz at io9 makes the argument that Supergirl, as an adult immigrant to Earth trying to find her way in an unknown world with great recent shows, resonates more deeply with the Super mythos than a more confused Superman.
  • Jessica Wong at CBC reports on how campaigns by devoted fans can save cult SF television shows like the Toronto-filmed Shadowhunters.
  • James Nicoll at Tor, looking back to the 1970s, uses a Judy-Lynn Del Rey anthology series of the era to highlight some noteworthy authors.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Detroit, Metropolis, Seattle, Foster City, Kigali

  • If ever I make it to Detroit, the John K King bookstore would surely be a must-visit. Atlas Obscura reports.
  • Metropolis, Illinois, is celebrating Superman. Where better to do so? Wired reports.
  • Seattle, like so many cities around North America, is apparently facing a gentrification that makes it increasingly uncomfortable for too many. Crosscut has it.
  • The San Francisco Bay area community of Foster City faces imminent danger from rising sea levels. CBC reports.
  • Decades after the horrors of the mid-1990s, dogs in the Rwandan capital of Kigali are starting to be treated as potential pets again. National Geographic reports.

[NEWS] Some Sunday links

  • The Globe and Mail profiles the growing political tensions within Thailand, increasingly polarized between populist rural areas and conservative urbanites.
  • io9 suggests that Russia is continuing to prepare for a long-range mission to Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, to be launched in a decade’s time.
  • Open Democracy’s Jamie Mackay describes how, in Venice, racism–especially anti-Asian racism–distracts and is used to distract Venetians from their city’s decline as an actual inhabited areas.
  • The photos heavy metal cowboys of Botswana must be seen.
  • The Atlantic Cities has noted Facebook’s utility in tracking global migration trends.
  • Shanghaist observes that the Shanghai metro system is offering announcements in Shanghainese as well as in standard Chinese.
  • The conclusion of a National Post columnist that Thor bests Superman–perhaps, by extension, Marvel besting DC–by virtue of having fun relatable characters is difficult to escape.
  • Also in The Globe and Mail, the evolution of a bar in Bloordale–Bloor West and Lansdowne, just to my west–from a neighbourhood joint to something ore hipsterish is interesting.
  • Should the abundance of vintage cars in Cuba, a guest writer at The Guardian writes, be seen merely as cute or rather as symptom of corrosive totalitarianism? (I say yes.)

[LINK] “Orson Scott Card isn’t the right man to write Superman”

Andrew Wheeler’s essay at The Guardian‘s Comment is Free makes obvious, correct points about DC Comics’ decision to get noted homophobe Orson Scott Card to write for them. As good as Card is, he’s a bigot. In American public life, homophobia is one bigotry becoming increasingly unacceptable, and increasingly costly, as it should.

Superman is a good guy. More than that, Superman is the best guy. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1932, he’s the archetypal superhero, a man of enormous power who places himself in service to the powerless. To borrow a famous phrase from the 1940s Superman radio serial, he stands for “truth, justice and the American way”.

It’s hard to reconcile Superman’s principles with the values of science fiction author Orson Scott Card. As reported by the Guardian on Monday, DC Comics, a division of Warner Bros, has hired Card to write a digital comic featuring the iconic hero. The move met with an outcry among fans because of Card’s ugly views on homosexuality, and some called for a boycott or demanded that Card be fired.

To say Card does not appear fond of gay people is to put it lightly. In his 2004 essay, “Homosexual ‘Marriage’ and Civilization”, he created a sinister innuendo-laden portrait of “homosexual society” grounded in experiences of “disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse”. It reads very strangely if you value truth.

In 2009, Card joined the board of the National Organisation for Marriage, a group at the forefront of the fight against same-sex marriage in the United States. NOM uses alarmist propoganda to convince voters to prevent gay people from enjoying the rights and reassurances of marriage. It looks very strange if you value truth and justice.

In 2008, in an op-ed that’s now missing from the Mormon Times website, Card said that Americans might respond to broader civil rights by changing the government “by whatever means … necessary”. It sounds very strange if you value the American Way.

Card’s principles do not align with Superman’s, though it’s unlikely that Card will write a story about Superman spreading disinformation, robbing people of their rights or overthrowing the government. Yet, if DC Comics knew about Card’s well-publicised views, why risk alienating parts of its audience by hiring him?

Written by Randy McDonald

February 15, 2013 at 3:59 am