Tag Archives | Superman

Portrait of the Buddha as a Deadbeat Dad

I’m not a Buddhist scholar. I’ve read books, but I’ve retained little, and integrated less. I’m a sporadic meditator at best, and have attended maybe three Buddhist services. Nonetheless, I think a lot about the Buddha, and Buddhahood. What would it mean for a person to fully shuck the concept of self? Identity?


It’s totally strange to me that I care to think about the Buddha at all. I never took to Christ in the least. Maybe it’s because I was brought up in Southern Baptist territory, or because I’ve seen Christ used to sew fear among the masses enough times that I can’t visualize the dude without a dingy red Confederate baseball cap. Personal issues aside, Jesus is presented, for the most part, as a compassionate, relatively chill mystic. But like any enduring popular character, he makes some baffling decisions—like rebuking a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season, and subsequently murdering the insubordinate tree with his veiny Christic prayer-power.… Read the rest

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Activist Comics: Disclosure

If someone was talking shit about you, wouldn’t you want to know who it was? And if it was $145 million worth of shit you were buried under, wouldn’t you be outraged and demand to know who was dumping all this excrement on top of you, and why?

Well, here we are: After $145 million of anonymous spending in the midterm elections, the American public remains none the wiser as to who not only wanted to spend fortunes influencing politics, but needed to do it without exposing their identities and their motives. Insomuch as political spending is largely an investment made by eager pay-to-players looking to get a massive return in the form of tax breaks, contracts, or legislative deference, how much worse must these interests be if they need to keep their motives secret?

There are some — such as Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, and fulminating lawyer James Bopp — who believe there should no disclosure on spending in elections at all, because that might expose a particular donor to criticism from others, which then would make them hesitant to give large sums to unpopular causes, and that is JUST LIKE restricting their First Amendment right to free speech.… Read the rest

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Batman at 75


While I’ve been posting all year about the William S. Burroughs centenary, I have yet to mark this illuminated text with the dark shadow of Batman who is celebrating his 75th anniversary this year. “The Caped Crusader,” “The Dark Knight,” “The World’s Greatest Detective,” first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939.

Batman earned his own storylines. He was unique among comic book heroes in that he never had any super powers. Batman honed his intellect and built his body into a crime fighting machine fueled by his vow to avenge the homicidal death of his parents and restore justice to Gotham City. Batman’s lone vigilante origins also contributed to recent, noir interpretations that blur the line between the good and evil in the Batman universe. Questions like “Is Batman insane?” are common to the telling of his tale in a way that they could never be in the pages of Superman or Captain America.… Read the rest

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Torture Okayed Through Pop Culture

Diverse torture instruments.

Diverse torture instruments.

Noah Berlatsky analyzes how pop culture (movies, comic books, television) makes torture “ok.” He writes that “Torture, pop culture says, is effective, fun, and even funny.”

Noah Berlatsky writes at Splice Today:

In Frank Miller’s influential 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, Batman drags an unconscious perpetrator up to a rooftop, and hangs him upside down with his eyes covered. When the bad guy wakes up, Batman begins to question him, and then uncovers the guy’s eyes. Hundreds of feet above the city, the bad guy starts to scream in terror, prompting our hero to ruminate smugly about how much fun he’s having.

Last year, in the film Olympus Has Fallen, the American agent played by Gerard Butler stabbed a North Korean bad guy in the knee to get him to talk. The audience at the preview I attended cheered enthusiastically.

Last weekend at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Sarah Palin declared to an enthusiastic audience that the current administration is too nice to jihadists.

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Schooling Superman on Totalitarianism: Superman and The Flash have a discussion about gun control while playing chess

via chycho

I. Introduction to Inverted Totalitarianism

As Chris Hedges has pointed out on numerous occasions, referring to Sheldon Wolin’s work in ‘Democracy Incorporated’ (article, book), the system that best describes the ideology that the government of the United States functions as is inverted totalitarianism. In his book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”, which Hedges co-authored with Joe Sacco, he describes this system as:

“The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term inverted totalitarianism in his book Democracy Incorporated to describe our political system. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation, and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise, and abundance of a consumer society. Political participation and civil liberties are gradually surrendered. Corporations, hiding behind this smokescreen, devour us from the inside out….

“Corporations, who hire attractive and eloquent spokespeople like Barack Obama, control the uses of science, technology, education, and mass communication….

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Superman to Launch Alternative Media Venture

Watch out, Luke Rudkowski!

From Alison Flood at the Guardian:

Journalism’s future lies online – at least according to Superman‘s alter ego Clark Kent, who is about to quit his job at the Daily Planet and found a version of the Drudge Report.

In the new issue of DC Comics’ Superman series, out tomorrow, Clark will stand up in front of staff in a “Jerry Maguire-type moment” which will see him resign from the Daily Planet and mourn “how journalism has given way to entertainment”, writer Scott Lobdell told USA Today.

Clark will also call on his fellow reporters to stand up for truth, justice, “and yeah — I’m not ashamed to say it — the American way,” said Lobdell.

Continued at the Guardian

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Santa Claus: Dybbuk, Tulpa, Legend



What is it about this time of year that melts even the hardest disinfonaut scepticism? Sure, Santa Claus might be the old shamanic magic mushroom cult incarnate repackaged to dupe us all into developing a Pavlovian response to the Baron Samedi of consumerism that he has now become, but I’ve always suspected the rabbit hole went down deeper.

And then I came across this blog post by  paranormal researcher Jeff Belanger:

My friend Al told me he was struggling with telling his four-year-old daughter about Santa Claus. “It’s the only lie I’ve ever told her,” he said. I too have a four-year-old daughter and am currently in the thick of Santa Fever at my house, where we’ve been lauding Père Noël for the last three Christmases. He’s a legend I’m honored to propagate.

I study legends for a living. Monsters, ghosts, extraterrestrials, and ancient mysteries swirl around me like smoke from a smoldering campfire.

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Superman’s Biggest Fan Has Plastic Surgery To Resemble Superhero

When you already have the comics, the costumes, the movies and other paraphernalia, what's left? Your body of course... the RealSelf blog has the details:
A man in the Philippines has had multiple cosmetic surgeries in order to look like Superman. Reporter Marie Lozano of Bandila news Tweeted this picture earlier as a teaser to her upcoming story: plastic surgery to look like superman With the translating help of Maureen F. from our doctor advisory team, we’ve been able to suss out some of the details of this story.  We’ll continue to update as we understand more. According to the report, Superman wannabe Herbert Chavez, 35, has been going under the knife since 1995 to achieve his heroic appearance.  So far...
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Superman Giving Up American Citizenship

SupermanWhat I want to know is why he didn’t do this after the Bush administration lied through its teeth in order to launch two never-ending preemptive wars. Needless to say the usual suspects are outraged at Superman’s perceived lack of patriotism. The Guardian reports (thanks to Lynne C. for sending us the link):

After years of declaring he stood for “truth, justice and the American way,” Superman has provoked the ire of rightwingers by threatening to renounce his US citizenship.

In the latest issue of Action Comics, which went on sale on Wednesday, the Man of Steel decides to take the step after he intervenes in a protest against the Iranian government.

After the Islamic regime brands his non-violent protest as an act of war taken on behalf of the US president, the DC comic hero says he will renounce his citizenship before the United Nations.

“I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of US policy,” he says.

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