September 28th, 2004

cass groovy

Hurricane report

I have survived. Lost power at the apartment for a day, which sucked a bit. But it's back now and I'm going to Gainesville tomorrow and then FINALLY I will be done moving. Which is good.

Getting everything set up in my apartment, now, that's another matter. Boxes litter the floor of my bedroom; I don't have enough bookcases yet -- oh, well. I am saving my paychecks.

(no subject)

I've noticed a number of stories in the past year or so about music being used to urge on depravity. If you read about Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, you'll run across pieces about Khmer-Rouge-style indoctrination camps where inmates are forced to sing cheerful songs extolling the wonders of the Zanu-PF (Mugabe's political party). If you read about the horrors perpetrated in Darfur (here's a brief primer), you'll learn about the women who accompany the Arab Janjaweed militias, singing songs in praise of the torture, murder, and rape inflicted on Sudanese blacks.

In Jamaica, the blood music isn't devoted to one organized political movement. It's against homosexuals; and when I say "against" I don't mean not letting gay folks enjoy the benefits of marriage. I mean explicitly calling for their murder.

An activist who has attempted to draw the attention of Britain's black community to the problem in Jamaican music has been accused of having a "colonial mentality."
cass groovy

Rucka and Brubaker

miss_porcupine has posted some links to interviews with Rucka and Brubaker about their various writings. They're great interviews, with a lot of food for thought -- and lots to praise, criticize, and argue with. Especially because these guys are such good writers and know what the hell they're doing.

I think the two most interesting are the interviews having to deal with Gotham Central and Superman. (Some of the content of Rucka's Superman interview makes an interesting compare/contrast with some of Brubaker's about Captain America.) One passage re: Superman:

With Batman, when you get him right, you’ve got him. Batman is such a character that the multiple interpretations of Batman all pretty much work – they can all coexist. Everybody works from Frank Miller’s template and go their own way, but they all know what point they’re starting from. You can write a Batman line five or ten different ways, and it will still read like Batman is saying it.

You can not do that with the Joker, in contrast. The Joker, you have to write spot-on, or he fails. Superman is the same way.

I think that's far more right than wrong -- Superman is harder to write than Batman, for a myriad of reasons -- but I think that going on from there Rucka makes a mistake in defining Superman's essential character too narrowly, and that he does so for reasons that have to do with what Brubaker says he's going to try to avoid in Captain America. And I think that ultimately doesn't serve the character or the material -- or, frankly, the writer. Let alone the audience.

Will post more on this when I have more time.