Whatcha reading?

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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
27 Dec 2020, 7:41pm
101) Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek - Joel Engel. Hardback. 1994. The story of a thoughtless, greedy hack who got lucky with one concept, then had his ego inflated by an audience desperate for a messiah. He drank too much, did too many drugs, melted his brain and then nearly totalled the Next Generation with his behaviour and terrible ideas. Pretty decent read.
He and Shatner must have made a real pair.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
27 Dec 2020, 7:57pm
Silent Majority wrote:
27 Dec 2020, 7:41pm
101) Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek - Joel Engel. Hardback. 1994. The story of a thoughtless, greedy hack who got lucky with one concept, then had his ego inflated by an audience desperate for a messiah. He drank too much, did too many drugs, melted his brain and then nearly totalled the Next Generation with his behaviour and terrible ideas. Pretty decent read.
He and Shatner must have made a real pair.
Shatner is an odd absence in this book, actually. He wasn't interviewed and appears only in passing, referenced as a talented actor who deserved better scripts. We don't get into the wonderfully batshit story of Star Trek V at all.

Fancy a book on Rod Serling now.
Once I got to the mountain top, tell you what I could see
Prairie full of lost souls running from the priests of iniquity


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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 6:58am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
27 Dec 2020, 7:57pm
Silent Majority wrote:
27 Dec 2020, 7:41pm
101) Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek - Joel Engel. Hardback. 1994. The story of a thoughtless, greedy hack who got lucky with one concept, then had his ego inflated by an audience desperate for a messiah. He drank too much, did too many drugs, melted his brain and then nearly totalled the Next Generation with his behaviour and terrible ideas. Pretty decent read.
He and Shatner must have made a real pair.
Shatner is an odd absence in this book, actually. He wasn't interviewed and appears only in passing, referenced as a talented actor who deserved better scripts. We don't get into the wonderfully batshit story of Star Trek V at all.
Wil Wheaton has told the story of being devastated when first meeting Shatner, who was visiting the TNG set. The Shat told WW that he'd never let a kid be part of his crew (seemingly forgetting that this is all fiction?). Word got back to Roddenberry, who told WW, "Bill Shatner has always been an ass and I'm proud to have you on my show." Then made Shatner apologize to WW.
Fancy a book on Rod Serling now.
Phillip Morris should start a publishing arm for it.
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Finished reading Lepore's Wonder Woman book. Rich in content (due in no small part to being the first to access key figures' personal papers) but unfocused in purpose. WW isn't an active part of the story until around the two-thirds mark. Until then, she serves as indications of Marston's future (or rather how he would draw from his past with his stories). Otherwise, what is this book about? Is it about Marston the ambitious self-promoter, inventor of an early lie detector and steady loser of academic positions? Is it about Marston the feminist who acquires women and lives off their labour? Is it Marston and the women's unconventional secret living arrangement? Is it about WW, feminist icon? It's all of the above. The problem is that the idea that this is a (secret) history of Wonder Woman, yet most of it isn't about WW, except tangentially, any more than a biography of Jack Kirby could be said to be a history of Darkseid. The material is fascinating, the story often bizarre, and the connections sometimes Zeligesque, but it's a bit of a false premise.

Next up:
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Bought this on a whim while doing some more research for my lecture on hauntology. This might not be my bag at all, but I'll give it a shot.
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

Marky Dread
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 7:43am
Finished reading Lepore's Wonder Woman book. Rich in content (due in no small part to being the first to access key figures' personal papers) but unfocused in purpose. WW isn't an active part of the story until around the two-thirds mark. Until then, she serves as indications of Marston's future (or rather how he would draw from his past with his stories). Otherwise, what is this book about? Is it about Marston the ambitious self-promoter, inventor of an early lie detector and steady loser of academic positions? Is it about Marston the feminist who acquires women and lives off their labour? Is it Marston and the women's unconventional secret living arrangement? Is it about WW, feminist icon? It's all of the above. The problem is that the idea that this is a (secret) history of Wonder Woman, yet most of it isn't about WW, except tangentially, any more than a biography of Jack Kirby could be said to be a history of Darkseid. The material is fascinating, the story often bizarre, and the connections sometimes Zeligesque, but it's a bit of a false premise.

Next up:
Image
Bought this on a whim while doing some more research for my lecture on hauntology. This might not be my bag at all, but I'll give it a shot.
I've been seeing reviews calling it a "masterpiece" and have been very tempted. So I'll await your review before buying.
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 8:24am
I've been seeing reviews calling it a "masterpiece" and have been very tempted. So I'll await your review before buying.
The main issue is that I'm generally not interested in stuff like that. If it's just a geeky celebration, I'll have a tough time.
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:04am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 8:24am
I've been seeing reviews calling it a "masterpiece" and have been very tempted. So I'll await your review before buying.
The main issue is that I'm generally not interested in stuff like that. If it's just a geeky celebration, I'll have a tough time.
I've always been fascinated by the way people just blindly went along with stuff like "burn the witch" and "if she floats she's a witch but if she drowns then she isn't". Witchfinder General being a fave movie also.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:23am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:04am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 8:24am
I've been seeing reviews calling it a "masterpiece" and have been very tempted. So I'll await your review before buying.
The main issue is that I'm generally not interested in stuff like that. If it's just a geeky celebration, I'll have a tough time.
I've always been fascinated by the way people just blindly went along with stuff like "burn the witch" and "if she floats she's a witch but if she drowns then she isn't". Witchfinder General being a fave movie also.
Unity thru marginalization and exclusion is pretty much built into all societies.
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

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102) Tall Tales & Wee Stories - Billy Connolly. 2019. Paperback. A collection of Connolly's favourite of his own stand up bits. I thought I'd be missing out on a lot without his delivery, but the way the sentences are structured you just hear his voice and emphases coming off the page. At his peak, one of the greatest comedians ever with an attitude to cherish.
Once I got to the mountain top, tell you what I could see
Prairie full of lost souls running from the priests of iniquity


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

Marky Dread
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Marky Dread »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:29am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:23am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:04am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 8:24am
I've been seeing reviews calling it a "masterpiece" and have been very tempted. So I'll await your review before buying.
The main issue is that I'm generally not interested in stuff like that. If it's just a geeky celebration, I'll have a tough time.
I've always been fascinated by the way people just blindly went along with stuff like "burn the witch" and "if she floats she's a witch but if she drowns then she isn't". Witchfinder General being a fave movie also.
Unity thru marginalization and exclusion is pretty much built into all societies.
Oh definitely and so it continues sadly. But I'm hoping the book investigates the fakery and trickery behind the con. Or if it was just the fear of malicious intent to those who don't tow the line.
Image

Forces have been looting
My humanity
Curfews have been curbing
The end of liberty

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 10:05am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:29am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:23am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:04am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 8:24am
I've been seeing reviews calling it a "masterpiece" and have been very tempted. So I'll await your review before buying.
The main issue is that I'm generally not interested in stuff like that. If it's just a geeky celebration, I'll have a tough time.
I've always been fascinated by the way people just blindly went along with stuff like "burn the witch" and "if she floats she's a witch but if she drowns then she isn't". Witchfinder General being a fave movie also.
Unity thru marginalization and exclusion is pretty much built into all societies.
Oh definitely and so it continues sadly. But I'm hoping the book investigates the fakery and trickery behind the con. Or if it was just the fear of malicious intent to those who don't tow the line.
Just read the first chapter. No, you won't be getting that. It's a playful, serious-but-not-serious history of the excluded from history, the supernatural that is left out. It sees dark romance in England's deep past, mixed with horror and predictions of the future. It's satire of reverential history, encouraging wonder and fantasy.
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

Marky Dread
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Marky Dread »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 10:52am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 10:05am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:29am
Marky Dread wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:23am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 9:04am


The main issue is that I'm generally not interested in stuff like that. If it's just a geeky celebration, I'll have a tough time.
I've always been fascinated by the way people just blindly went along with stuff like "burn the witch" and "if she floats she's a witch but if she drowns then she isn't". Witchfinder General being a fave movie also.
Unity thru marginalization and exclusion is pretty much built into all societies.
Oh definitely and so it continues sadly. But I'm hoping the book investigates the fakery and trickery behind the con. Or if it was just the fear of malicious intent to those who don't tow the line.
Just read the first chapter. No, you won't be getting that. It's a playful, serious-but-not-serious history of the excluded from history, the supernatural that is left out. It sees dark romance in England's deep past, mixed with horror and predictions of the future. It's satire of reverential history, encouraging wonder and fantasy.
Well thanks for saving me some dough. I appreciate it. Not what I was anticipating at all.
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Forces have been looting
My humanity
Curfews have been curbing
The end of liberty

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Image
*Finally* got around to reading this (kind of important given that I'm assigning it in my punk seminar next term). I suspect most people here would enjoy this. Mattson is a very accessible writer—I've read some of his other books; he writes like a popular historian without dumbing things down—and considers the American underground thru a wonderfully wide scope. Music, zines, film, fiction, art, and protest are all examined, and placed in opposition to mainstream national politics and entertainment. The period of 1980 and 1985 is a magical period of rupture, when growing numbers of aware kids were angry and hopeful enough that they believed they could create their own culture. They sought to resist the suicidal madness of nuclear proliferation and the cruelty of corporate pillaging of civic culture, where an actor president married entertainment to politics. It couldn't last, tho, as the predatory monster, corporate consumer capitalism, loses its fear of punk and comes to see it as an opportunity, a new cool to be defanged and commodified and starts to pick off bands and filmmakers. But there was this moment when these kids did something of their own—that's what matters and needs to be remembered. All the mainstream histories of the 80s that cite MTV and Michael Jackson miss that something else was going on. That the kids failed to overcome corporate and political power misses the point; they tried to create something that rejected the logic of the mainstream rather than play with it.

The book is written like an ambitious set of punk albums. Four chapters (plus intro and epilogue), with one 1 or 2 page thematic blasts, then onto the next. Like a 40-minute album with 50 songs. And every so often are longer passages that relate the thornier questions that obsessed key figures in the punk underground—was punk personal and emotional, or was it about political change? How feasible was anarchism? How do you keep this going? Those are the more savoury bits, but for those who prefer hearing the stories that aren't normally told (or are told reverentially), there's plenty of enjoyable narrative.

I winced at times with the somewhat cartoonish way he describes MTV or Reagan, becoming a bit of a punk puritan caricature himself in not discerning more complexity and sites of resistance. But that's okay. There's an angry energy to it all that's satisfying, and I appreciate the forcefulness of his argument. It's not his mission to make us appreciate Reagan or Madonna or MTV, but to understand why, to a punk critique, these things represent all that is corrosive to a humane society. This is good stuff—smart, engaging, not condescending or dumbed down. Even a story of losing can be admirable.
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Never heard of this novel, but I'll be starting it as bedtime reading.
https://slate.com/culture/2020/12/maste ... dians.html
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Finished listening to A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear this morning. More sympathetic than I expected (or would have approached it myself). But I suppose journalistic accounts that rely on extensive interviews leads to a certain affection for the characters, no matter how batty. Still, it does demonstrate how a community of anti-government zealots lacks the necessary social glue to be a genuine community, and so things go to hell, especially with regard to dealing with bears coming closer and closer to feed. Some funny moments, tho, such as a stand-off of words about whether someone is touching a car, employed with all the conviction of the autodidact.

Image
Just got into this, but quite keen as I haven't yet encountered a full-length concentrated treatment of the subject. The premise of hauntology is the nagging feeling that culturally and politically, there is no sense of a future, that we're in a cul de sac, regurgitating the past over and over. Hauntology fetishizes the 1970s as that crucial moment when, as the welfare state collapsed, with a choice between something more humanely left or something more harshly neoliberal, the West went with the latter. Hauntologists look to that as the lost opportunity, where we went on current, miserable path. So hauntological cultural texts are drawn to the styles of the 1970s as a way of expressing frustrations and a certain wistfulness for what might have been, albeit in a wry manner.
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

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