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Tim Lieder

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Books read in 2019 # 47 - The bullshit sequel to Primal Fear [May. 20th, 2019|09:18 pm]
Tim Lieder
47. Reign in Hell by William Diehl - Fuck this book. This stupid fucking book was breezy enough so I can't hate it too much but after I'm doing reading it, my main takeaway is that Diehl didn't know what to do with the characters that he was trying to make into a Silence of the Lambs franchise. It kind of worked I guess. I wanted to read the book ever since I found out that there were sequels to the book that made the movie that made Edward Norton famous.

And the last 10 minutes of Primal Fear is pretty damn perfect. Edward Norton turning from nice guy into raging psychopath while bragging that he had been lying to Richard Gere the whole time is just a joy to behold. I could see why the original author would want to capitalize on that moment - whether before or after the film (I'm not looking this up - the scene is as written in the book). And maybe the book right after Primal Fear was pretty good as this is the third book in the series.

This book, on the other hand, didn't even need Aaron Stamper. He's just there to justify another Martin Vail book. Instead of anything about Vail and Stamper playing chicken as the world around them burns, this book is a 90s book obsessed with militias and the Turner Diaries. The book might as well be dedicated to Timothy McVeigh for all the material about anti-government forces and white racist terrorism. I wish I could say that it was a book of its time, but the whole Nazi militia angle is sadly contemporary.

The scenes where Vail is being brought into the investigation and where the president and friends are working against the militias are great. I love the investigation angle as well as the material about how the most anonymous person can figure into the spy network.

If the book was only about Martin Vail working with the government in order to take down white supremacist militias, I would have enjoyed it much more. I might not have gone out of my way to get a copy and looked forward to reading it, but I would have not been lest with a feeling of getting conned into thinking that I was reading a sequel to Primal Fear when I was really just reading a Martin Vail book with Aaron Stamper ridiculously shoved into the plot as a crazy radio racist preacher. He's in the beginning. He is mentioned in the middle and in the end when the government is raiding the compound, he tries to get away.

Having read the whole thing I kind of wish that it was not as well written. Then I would have given up early and not felt like I had been screwed over by the end.

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Books read in 2019 # 40 - 46 - Lots of Murder in these books [May. 11th, 2019|11:30 pm]
Tim Lieder
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40. Being Full of Light Insubstantial by Linda D. Addison - I don't really know how to review poetry well. It's poetry and my ability to approach poetry on its own level and say something smart about it can feel utterly pathetic. The first part of this book feels distant for me, but as the book goes on the poems become more intimate and emotional. There's a cosmic sense of purpose to the poetry toward the end. I quite enjoyed this one. I don't know what else to say about it.

41. Teen Titans Go! Ready for Action by J. Torres et al. - I like Teen Titans Go for the juvenile humor but also for the way it just doesn't take any of its premises seriously. The movie will always make me love it for the way that they had to fix their mistakes by sending Batman's parents down crime alley. My favorite story in this particular one is a video game one where people keep getting pulled into the videogame by Cyborg's enthusiastic opponent. Mostly this is for the bright colors and the shifting art styles. I quite loved it.

42. The Walking Dead volume 26: Call to Arms by Robert Kirkman - Negan kills Alpha. I don't think this ends the Whisperer story, but the main point is that Negan kills the lead Whisperer so that's pretty much that. Also the horrible kid who hit Carl with a brick is dead now too. That whole family is gone because of the Whisperers so they aren't all bad. But why that family was such a big deal is beyond me. They were basically just entitled rednecks. But Negan killed the kid and then got in with the Whisperers and killed Alpha. So that's fun.

43.Bob's Burgers Medium Rare by Various - When Movie Bob cited Bob's Burgers as the working class sitcom you should be paying attention to instead of the overrated new Roseanne, I couldn't help but agree. Bob's Burgers is one of my favorite cartoons and the comic book is...well, it's pretty great. I can't remember anyhting about it, but it let the writers have freedom with tone and character enough that it was a decent experience. So yes, I read the Bob's Burgers graphic novel. At least the first one. It was funny. I guess that's it.

44. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1910 by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill - Did this one or Black Book come out first? The first two LXG collections were classics in their own right and then Alan Moore got self-indulgent. Black Book gave us an immortal Mina and Quartermain going through the 20th century with references to pop culture deep cuts. The beat novel was awful but the Jeeves & Wooster Cthulu story was quite good. This is less confusing than that one, but it is still a bit indulgent. This is the trilogy that ends with Moore declaring Harry Potter to be the anti-Christ, with his Harry Potter character killing off the Hogwarts. But this one, this particular one is slight and I wouldn't even bother if not for the fact that it mostly gets the Pirate Jenny song as a major theme.

Nemo dies (it's been enough time) and his daughter Jani wants nothing to do with him. In between the rest of the team trying to deal with Crowley and learn about the evil promised one, Jani gets a job and gets called Jenny as a woman sings many more verses of the song. They don't all fit with the rhyme scheme. Sadly, Alan Moore gets lazy and includes a rape scene. It's not like Jani couldn't get frustrated with being a servant and called upon her pirates without the rape. The whole point of the song is that the servant just can't wait to get the pirates to kill off the bosses. The rape just cheapens it.

45.The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen - This was the basis of the pilot for the Rizzoli and Isles show and I can see why this became the pilot instead of the first book as this seems like the first time Isles is introduced. The relationship between Isles and Rizzoli is professional and Rizzoli is much closer to the rest of the characters in the book. Mostly Rizzoli is chasing after a serial killer who is corresponding with The Surgeon from the first book and she's still traumatized by the Surgeon torturing her and trying to kill her. The Surgeon is playing mind games and it is fast paced enough not to get to hung up on some details. I will definitely read another Tess Gerritsen. I've been burned by writers before (Charlaine Harris being one prime example. One book and I love her. Second book and I am so over the "every monster wants to fuck Sookie" plot). I would have also preferred that Rizzoli caught the murderer in any way beyond getting kidnapped by him. I must say that if I read another Gerritsen book, I really hope that Rizzoli just catches her by working the case.

46. The Death Stench Creeps GYO by Juni Ito - Oh man, body horror is disgusting. I want to say something academic about how it is a great depiction of the fear of disease and dying as our very limbs betray us, but this book is about a disease that makes people smell bad and then has them expel gas from their mouths and butts. So we got a lot of farting which is then used by magical machines to run themselves on gas. Oh man, so disgusting. There are a couple short stories that seem more like jokes than horror stories. Like the one where Dad gets stuck beneath the supporting beam and does not want to be moved because the house would come crashing down. So he dies there. There's also one where people shaped holes end up in a mountain and they go into them. That's it. That's the story. Also they get all bendy in the tunnels.

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Another Deadbeat Client - you know the drill [Apr. 25th, 2019|10:41 am]
Tim Lieder
Ok. Once again, I get a client who needs something practically at the last minute, makes a bunch of demands, adds a new wrinkle to the assignment (apparently the one sheet is supposed to be single spaced - which was never communicated before I worked on it) and probably used it as an excuse to never answer my emails and not pay me. She owes me $50.

Anyhow, one of these was a script for a video that she was supposed to make. I'm sure she made it. Anyhow, if you think any of this looks familiar, then that's because it's plagiarized and the student hired me, Tim Lieder, to write the paper.
Automated systems are becoming more sophisticated as robotics advances. There are several issues with automation including speed and safety.
In the article “Amazon acquires autonomous robotics startup Canvas Technology”, Brian Heter writes that Amazon has purchased Canvas Technology, a startup robot factory operating out of Boulder, Colorado. According to Heater: “The deal makes a lot of sense from the outside, adding another important piece to Amazon Robotics’ growing portfolio of fulfillment center machines.” (Heater 2019). The first point is that Amazon has acquired the company and is happy to acquire the technology.
The second point is that Canvas is a well-regarded company that began in 2015 and has created an impressive portfolio of technology. This is the point where the author describes the autonomous cart system which is currently on display at Playground Global. This autonomous cart systems uses 3D imaging and in-house software in order to safely operate within a warehouse setting. The major advantage to the system is that it is designed with safety in mind and manages to fulfill its duty while avoiding people and obstacles.
Finally, Amazon already has a Robots’ offering which automates the Amazon factories and fulfillment centers. In this purchase, Amazon has added new technology to its existing automated system in order to add safety.
This article relates to the class because it conveys important business information. It will affect several stakeholders including buyers, management and fulfilment center workers. I chose this article because it centers the automated system within the realm of innovation instead of concerns about lost wages. Overall, this appears to be a profitable move on the part of Amazon.


Reference
Heater, B. (April 10, 2019). Amazon acquires autonomous warehouse robotics startup Canvas Technology. Tech Crunch. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/10/amazon-acquires-autonomous-warehouse-robotics-startup-canvas-technology/

This was the second thing I wrote for this client. There's also a powerpoint that I can attach but I'm going to wait to see what the client does.

Falonne April 17
The Tech Crunch article “Amazon acquires autonomous warehouse robotics startup Canvas Technology” makes the first point that Amazon has acquired Canvas Technology which is a robot factory. This article was written by Brian Heater for the site Tech Crunch. The first two paragraphs read like a press release with Amazon looking forward to working with Canvas Technology and its fantastic team.
The second point is the history of Canvas which is a startup founded in 2015 and has created impressive technologies including a fully autonomous cart system. This autonomous cart system is on display at Playground Global, The autonomous cart utilizes 3D imaging and inhouse software solutions in order to safely operate within a warehouse setting and avoids people and obstacles. In other words, the Canvas Autonomous Cart has a built-in safety with an autonomous vision system.
The third point is that Amazon is looking for an automated system that improves on Amazon’s systems. Amazon already uses automation but the Canvas system will help to improve Amazon’s distribution centers. Canvas can make a nice addition to Amazon Robots’ offerings which are currently being used to automate the Amazon factories.
This article relates to the class because it deals with business and I chose it for the nature of the automation. It mostly affects management.
Reference
Heater, B. (April 10, 2019). Amazon acquires autonomous warehouse robotics startup Canvas Technology. Tech Crunch. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/10/amazon-acquires-autonomous-warehouse-robotics-startup-canvas-technology/
Ok. Let's see if I get paid for this one.
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Books read in 2019 # 37-39 - Family Stuff [Apr. 24th, 2019|11:49 am]
Tim Lieder
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37. Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett - I managed to read 3/4 of the book before I "spoiled" myself by checking on the real Anna Comnena. This made the liberties that the author took with Anna and her family to be a little annoying simply because in the book, she was pushed into the convent at an early age and most of the ending was her process of dropping the revenge schemes in order to write the histories that she was known for. In her life, she was never named heir. Her attempt to take over took place well within her adult life after she had been married for many years and she outlived her brother but never had ambitions after a certain point. Also her brother, who is depicting as a sniveling little shit - think Joffrey without the feral intelligence - went down as one of the more pious emperors. The book does make the brother out to be resisting the evil grandmother toward the end but mostly he's a jerk.

Still that depiction is from the perspective of the character who loses out. Gore Vidal noted that when he wrote Burr, he liked Thomas Jefferson more than his protagonist and Andrew Jackson much less. But he managed to stay true to the character by having Burr never miss an opportunity to talk shit about Jefferson.

Taken for what it is, this is a fascinating portrait of a royal family in the Byzantine Empire just as the crusaders first come to "help" them. Mostly it deals with Anna who is learning from her mother and her grandmother. Apparently the grandmother is supposed to be evil, but I always find the grandmother to be ambitious and clever. When the grandmother states that her son (Anna's father) allowed his men to rape and pillage upon taking the throne, she is corrected with a tale of the emperor making penance and begging forgiveness. This is not so much a correction as a good lesson in statecraft. It's always good to look pious in order to excuse your crimes. Basically, the grandmother is Machiavelli's The Prince given form. And I'm too respectful of Machiavelli to dislike her.

Anyhow, Anna is a rather petulant character. The book is fascinating and reads fast, but the protagonist tends to think that she's smarter than she is and this doesn't become obvious until the end when she keeps siding with her extremely naive mother against her grandmother. Even her pleasure at watching her grandmother brought low by her brother refusing to kill her shows that she has not learned statecraft and that it's better that she never did take power. Still I recommend the book. I don't think I will read it again because I stopped liking the main character towards the end but it's still pretty good.

38. The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan - Amy Tan rose to fame as THE writer of the Asian American experience in the 80s and cemented that title in the 90s with the Joy Luck Club movie. She still sells many books and she is very prolific. She even plays in that stupid band with Stephen King and Dave Barry - or she did when it was around. I'm not sure if it is still there. For years, teachers would either choose her or Maxine Hong Kingston as their representative of Asian American writers in those introduction classes. Usually they went with Kingston because Kingston is a misery tourists whose books "are quintessential examples of the race, class and gender tensions" as my least favorite undergraduate professor Marty Roth put it. Kingston is also fucking dreadful and full of misery tourism in order to give her white audience that "Poor Asian Women are all abused by Asian Men" plot that they crave (and puts Asian men in danger from racist white guys who shouldn't have additional reasons to attack minorities). Amy Tan is the more entertaining alternative. Also, we have hopefully stopped tokenizing minority writers so there's no ONE Asian American writer out there in the common beliefs (there are hundreds but culture sucks).

Anyhow, it's easy to forget just how good of a writer Amy Tan is. When I started this book I was hoping that I could finish it before another Amy Tan book came up in my other book queue so I wouldn't get stuck reading two Amy Tan books at the same time. I was a little bored with the beginning which is your standard Amy Tan set up where Chinese American woman who can't even speak her mother's language tries to deal with her bi-cultural identity even as her mother is getting frail (and showing the early stages of Alzheimer's). But then Tan does what she does well which is to take the reader back to the mother's world in China where she does not realize that she's been adopted into a family until her real mother (whom she thought was her maid) kills herself in order to prevent her from marrying the son of the man that ruined her life. There are Japanese invaders, interfering in-laws, cruel relations and the missionary life that is repeatedly in danger. Also there is a bond between sisters who are technically cousins but in everything else are sisters.

Ok, really I cried at the end. Books about adults dealing with their difficult mothers and coming to terms with having shitty childhood experiences in order to forgive their mothers - yeah, that's a bit personal. I like to say that King Lear is a different play when you are trying to help your mother deal with her hoarding (that she doesn't admit to doing), but Amy Tan is the poet laureate of taking care of Mom regardless of what that entails.

39. Shetani's Sister by Iceberg Slim - Speaking of unlikable characters, Shetani is an evil motherfucker. There's nothing romanticized about this pimp. Pimp is not a compliment. Shetani is an abusive fuck who gets women hooked on drugs so that they will work for him and the plot centers around Shetani losing some of his mojo because a new hooker looks like his dead sister to the point that he thinks that she's a reincarnation.

I'm rather surprised that I liked this book even though it's nasty as fuck. Shetani is an irredeemable shithead and the cop that is in his orbit (the cop's step brother is giving information to Shetani's "bottom bitch") is not much of a prize. These are nasty fuckers doing nasty shit in a plot that gets off on destroying everything. Also this is one of those lost books that were published posthumously. Those are never good. The last one of those I read was a Pearl S. Buck shitfest that began with the character being born and ended with a tragic mulatto (only she was half-Asian) killing herself. So I'm kind of surprised. Not sure I would recommend this to everyone but I would definitely recommend it to people who like nasty crime novels.

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Books read in 2019 # 34-36 - NEGAN!!!! [Apr. 14th, 2019|09:41 am]
Tim Lieder
34. Adventure Time Volume 15 - There is no Negan in this issue of Adventure Time. You really don't want Negan in Adventure Time. It's a quest. There are balloons. There are puzzles. Marcelline's dad wants to throw a surprise party. It's cute. It's fun. There's no Negan. Moving on.

35. Walking Dead Compendium Three - Negan is the best character in Walking Dead. Like Falstaff in Henry IV or Lucifer in Paradise Lost, he's the villain/secondary character who steals the show. Beyond being an evil bastard, he's the most interesting villain in the piece as he has a code of morals where he respects strength even to the point of treating Carl like an honored guest when Carl kills several Saviors in an assassination attempt. He's also an effective leader unlike the Governor who is is just a petty despot. In that way he's like the Qin emperor before the Han Dynasty who brought China together but had to be overthrown. This is pretty much the main Negan story from Negan's first appearance smashing Glenn in the head (and dozens of your Facebook friends decided to declare never watching the show again). And then it goes all the way through the war with Eugene being less cowardly in the book than the television show (I like the show Eugene better - really makes more sense. Negan is scary).

The nice thing about the Compendium is that there's a ton of story so by the end when the Whisperers kill off a bunch of characters at a fair (which is where the television show is at), Negan in a jail cell is still a thing but we are in a completely different place than the beginning where Rick is cautiously optimistic in Alexandria. This is not necessarily the case in the first two compendiums (98 issues) where there's a lot of wandering but not necessarily much building.

36. The Walking Dead volume 25: No Turning Back - The problem with going back to short collections is the fact that the individual chapters don't always have much happening in them. In this one there's just a lot of movement and set piece preparation for future warfare. The Whisperers are evil. Rick is messed up. And only Negan has anything useful to say which is that Rick has a unifying force and he's an idiot for not using it. Rick also has to deal with assassination attempts including the father of those asshole kids that attack Carl in the previous compendium. Their stupid mother was one of the heads on a spike but that is neither here nor there. Alpha shows off that she is both vulnerable (crying over her daughter) and brutal (killing the sympathetic whisperer that sees her doing it). This is also a foreshadowing for Negan's finest moment of killing Alpha but that will be in a few issues. Anyhow, Rick has doubts, gets his mojo back and Negan is proud of him.

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Books read in 2019 # 31-33 - Serious disappointments [Apr. 2nd, 2019|02:34 pm]
Tim Lieder
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31. The Walking Dead Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard - I joke about how I have N.K. Jemisin books at the ready in case I end up reading too many boring books in a row. I know that The Fifth Season is on my shelf just waiting to make my life less miserable. And considering the fact that I've gone through a bunch of dull mystery books where I read about 40 pages and just skip to the last 10 pages and even then I don't care about the answer to the mystery, I'm definitely edging closer to that book. Or Killing Moon since she wrote it first and I know it's going to be good. Regardless, I'm going to have to buy the sequels.

All three books on this entry are ones that I wanted to be better. Reading The Walking Dead from the beginning is a less odious task than watching it from the beginning. At least I'm still reading it. I don't think I'm going to keep watching season 2. Shane is boring and they are still on the fucking farm. As far as Compendium 2, it begins with everyone sad and messed up and ends on a hopeful note. A seriously ironic hopeful note when you know that issue 98 is the last issue in the book and that issue 100 is coming up. Basically, this is the first of the rebuilding series where Rick's group is invited to that suburban enclave (why don't I remember the name) and there are problems but they eventually win over everyone. And then the last page is Rick going "You know, we don't have to just survive. We can rebuild. This is going to be great."

I am now reading the third compendium which is from the introduction of Negan throughout the war with the saviors and ends with the mass decapitation scene that the show just did (so the show is only a couple years behind the comic? This is strange. Like the comic book and the show are just going to keep going until Kirkman gets bored?) and since it was the Negan story on the show that made me want to both read and watch all the comics again, the problem is that I'm waiting for Negan. The governor was fucked up but Negan is one of the best characters in the comics and the show. The show had to make up Dwight and a better Caroline to keep us interested at first and in the comic some of the characters are still ok, but Negan is really what we want to see. So this is a lot of moving of pieces before Negan comes along.

32. Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake Card Wars by Jen Wang - I was probably never going to like this one. I like the gender flipped Adventure Time especially as male version of Marcelline is played by Donald Glover but Card Wars is a one joke concept. The card wars are so convoluted that no one understands them. This is great for an episode but over the course of six issues it strains the audience patience.

33 Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic - FUCK YOU MARVEL. FUCK DEADPOOL and fuck this stupid fucking story. I didn't love the other two comics on this entry but I would have come up with a different title if it hadn't been for this piece of shit. It's not an original concept (Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe came first) and it's not even a decent variation on the concept (Squirrel Girl Beats up the Marvel Universe shows that you can take this concept and make it original). Instead it's just Deadpool waking up to his subconscious and killing a bunch of people. In the middle he shoots Spiderman in the head and it's all like Haha, too bad your enemies never used guns. And then the killing just becomes rote. It's like characters snorting coke and talking about how they had sex in Brett Easton Ellis books. Who knew that these things would be boring.

And the cherry on top of this shit sundae (sorry I know that's a cliche but it's more original than anything in this) is Deadpool getting to Manthing and going through the multi-verse and ending up in the - GET THIS - writers room!!!! Yes, they are recycling this joke from the 80s or 70s. And in the writer's room the writers are all congratulating each other. They are also all white dudes. This shouldn't be important but one of the great things about Marvel in recent years is the way that they have diversified the characters and the writing staff. This comic shows why every comic book company should diversify.

And Deadpool is about to kill them with a big sword. Wah wah!

This thing took me maybe 20 minutes to read and I'm going to hate it for many many years.

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Books read in 2019 # 28-30 - Enjoyable but forgettable [Apr. 2nd, 2019|02:11 pm]
Tim Lieder
28.Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Middle-Route Run by Ben Costa and James Parks - In the first book, I was hoping that it would be revealed that Rickety Stitch turned out to be the big evil emperor that still scares everyone. In this book, I am 90% certain that if that's not the case I'm going to be most put out. It's one of the most telegraphed plot twists this side of L+R = J in the Song of Ice and Fire. Only I don't remember the rest of this book. It was enjoyable but I think there was a wizard who took him apart in an effort to steal his bones and then there was a goblin caravan. The artwork is fun and bright. The story doesn't get too bogged down in angst. Yet, what happened? I can't tell you. I think he met someone who might know more.

29.Adventure Time Flip Side by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover - I probably should not have decided to put every Adventure Time DVD and graphic novel I could find on hold from the library. I am starting to get bored with the graphic novels. The show was starting to lose its edge with too many retcons and a bunch of miniseries that never really captured the anarchic fun of the first few seasons. It all wrapped up nicely but there was a sense of overtime. This one was an adventure of reverse types where people had to do the opposite and bodies kept switching. I suspect that the graphic novels stopped being fun after Ryan NOrth left but for all I know he could be working on them right now. I didn't exactly get them in order.

30. Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman - Even though I'm starting to lose plot details, this reminded me of the great 80s miniseries that used to air on network television. Chiefs, Celebrity, Name of the Game, that one where Phoebe Cates asks "Which one of you bitches is my mother?" Like those miniseries, every section of this book is in a different time period and different set of characters connected by the thinnest of threads. You can't even say that it's connected by the piece of jewelry that gets introduced in the prologue as the first major part is the WWII soldier dealing with a train full of treasures looted from the Jews of Hungary. The epilogue shows that same guy taking the jewelry since everyone is grabbing what they can and there's not exactly anything he can do about it. But anyhow the first part is the soldier falling in love with a Holocaust survivor who leaves him to go to Israel. The second part is his granddaughter trying to get that jewelry to the people who are most likely to have a claim with the help of an Israeli art dealer who makes a living off of requisitioning and selling stolen objects and getting the money back to the families. That's the chapter that is the most fun. And then in the last chapter, we learn about the women that the couple talks about back in 1913 through the viewpoint of an annoying psychotherapist who is practically screaming "I DON'T GET WOMEN and my theories are useless in this case," most notably in the way that he wants to help her with her painful cramps by talking about her family. These last two chapters are fun. The WWII soldier chapter is a slog. Overall, I recommend it, but I know that I may see this book on a bookshelf in a couple years and wonder why it looks familiar.

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Books read in 2019 # 25-27 - Family Stuff [Mar. 24th, 2019|07:28 pm]
Tim Lieder
25.Adventure Time: Ice King by Emily Partridge, Pranas Naujokaitis & Natalie Andrewson - Ice King went from the silliest villain to the most tragic character in Adventure Time in a few seasons - or just with one episode where the writers reveal that he was once a normal human being who was driven into madness by the crown that gives him all the ice power and the immortality. The introduction of his wife changed that dynamic as well but by then the show had reached its apex and was trying to wrap up. This is one of those comics where Ice King is taught the importance of friendship when he ends up with a new crew who want to use him to attack a super powerful wizard who would prefer to be left alone. Gunther gets kidnapped. Ice King abandons the other crazy wizards for a time. He finds Gunther and everything is fine. Again, I suspect that half of these entries for the year will be about Adventure Time comics and I will find them mostly entertaining but not terribly enlightening.

26. And I Don't Want to Live This Life by Deborah Spungen - Do we give Sid Vicious the benefit of the doubt? When I first heard about Sid Vicious as a man who murdered his girlfriend and then killed himself, I thought that he was the same kind of abusive partner that has made marriage and dating so damn lethal. Only in the intervening years, I heard almost every defense of Sid Vicious possible. Nancy was the aggressive one. Sid was a gentle soul. Sid & Nancy were the original Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, only they killed each other instead of Kurt shooting himself and Courtney going on to be not only difficult for her family but her daughter. Sid didn't actually do it. The drug dealer killed Nancy for the money they had. Or Sid did it but Nancy wanted him to do it. Sid was too confused from the heroin. Certainly Deborah Spungen gives Sid that out in stating that Nancy probably bullied her into stabbing her because she wanted to die.

Only there's something in Sid's letters to Deborah Spungen that sound manipulative. He's way too eager to reach out to the mother of the woman that he killed. He's way too self-pitying. He doesn't tell her that he's sorry for her loss. He tells her that he feels empty and hollow because the love of his life is dead. When Nancy was alive he was not above bullying Deborah into giving them money. The thing is that Sid was also violent. He hit Nancy. He got into fights. He was at a party CELEBRATING being released on bail when he overdosed. He had lived he might have gotten off but he would have probably killed the next woman or beat her. He would be like the Chris Brown of punk.

And it does seem easy to give Sid the benefit of the doubt given Nancy's problems. This book is about a girl who was difficult from birth. I was prepared to hate Deborah Spungen as a bad mother but she did the best she could with the mental health resources she had in the 50s and 60s. Nancy seems like Borderline Personality Disorder which wasn't even diagnosed until the 1990s. There were other diagnoses throughout like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. But mostly Nancy was a difficult child who became a difficult teenager who turned to drugs pretty early on. But even if she never did heroin she was exhausting. The problem is that a mentally ill teenage girl was so exhausting that her murder becomes justified in popular imagination and even romanticized. She was a suicidal woman who fell in love with her murderer. And all her mother could do was watch and worry.

27.Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff - Speaking of assholes with mental problems, Michael Wolff depicts Trump in much the same way as Deborah Spungen depicts her daughter - as a fragile angry asshole who wants to be loved but won't stop pushing people away and destroying shit. Only where Nancy was a teenage girl with a drug problem, Trump is an old man in charge of the biggest nation in the world and completely out of his depth with a series of hangers-on trying to influence him. I'd almost feel sorry for the stupid motherfucker if he wasn't working so hard to fuck my country.

This book is mostly from Steve Bannon's perspective. Steve Bannon is trying to push his agenda over the Kushners with Reince Priebus as a guy who seems to be remarkably hard to push over when the time comes. Wolff gives us the Ivanka-Jered pairing as the liberals trying to keep Trump from going too deep into the racism but I'm not sure I can really believe that. Mostly, it's a portrait of Bannon who believes in Trumpism so much that he's willing to go against Trump to achieve it. By the time this book went to print, Bannon had yet to fail miserably with Roy Moore but the part where the creepy Mercers cut off Bannon came after the book. Everyone in this book is an asshole. Everyone is trying to get something. And for the most part these delusional assholes have made a huge mess and while Wolff is trying to give them a sympathetic portrayal, I find the whole thing rather sad.

Also besides the stuff that ended up in the newspapers (everyone crying when Trump won, etc.), most of this book is just the hits from the headlines, culminating in the bullshit Charlottesville speech with not much insight beyond the fact that everyone freaked out a little.

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Books Read in 2019 # 19 - 24 - I got to take these comic books back to the library [Mar. 12th, 2019|01:22 pm]
Tim Lieder
19.Adventure Time volume 11 by Christopher Hastings & Ian McGinty - I have a tone of Adventure Time books to read. I put them all on hold and it was the last episode. So this one. I honestly have to say that I don't remember what I read. I think I liked it. Finn gets old. Finn's past lives show up. The youth of everyone is stolen by ghosts. The art is all googly eyed.

20. Adventure Time vol 10 by Christopher Hastings and various - Ok, this one is more interesting because there'es a time bending maze story at the beginning and the rest is about a weird alternate sister that should have been raised with Jake and Finn but there was a demon involved. So she has to go back to a statue but there's all those alternate realities. So it's that sweet spot of wistful longing.

21. Ms. Marvel: Teenage Wasteland by G. Willow Wilson & Nico Leon - Naftali shows up with a sandwich! This became big news because now Kamala has an Orthodox Jewish friend, but he JUST SHOWED UP without an introduction or anything. And he doesn't even put that kosher sandwich in a bag or anything? Who drew this? Who walks around New Jersey with food out in the open and expect other people to want it? Also there's a lot of neat stuff about Kamala's friends and Wilson sidelines Kamala into a private school for a few issues. Also a return from the first two villains - the bird guy or the bird guy's controller and the sentient Troll AI - and I guess their point is made. This installment feels like this title is coasting, but you know what - I don't mind. I would rather Kamala Khan coasting on the goodwill of stories about friends who like each other than a dozen other comic stories.

22. Spiderman/Spider-Gwen Sitting in a Tree by Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Latour and others - So this was a multi-issue crossover where we know now that they can go between dimensions and Miles Morales really like Spider Gwen. The rest of the thing is having fun with alternate Spiderman titles, so Miles Morales has a father in the other dimension who is a king pin but in Spider Gwen most of the heroes are villains. Matt Murdock is particularly slimy. And there's a future dimension where Gwen and Miles are married and their kids just expect alternate universe versions of Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy to hop on by with questions. So that was fun.

23.Invader Zim vol 1 by Jhonen Vasquez and Eric Trueheart - It's really hard to read this without Zim's voice in my head. That's nice. Anyhow Dib and Zim are trying to get one over each other and the first few issues are Dib being obsessive and Zim laughing at him. But then in chapter 4, Zim just accidentally gets the earth blown up. But it's fine in the next one. Also the Tall Ones end up getting blown up because they were messing with Zim as they do.

24. Archer & Armstrong: American Wasteland by Fred Van Lente & Pere Perez - So this is why I put down the Illuminatus Trilogy and may never come back. All that Rock & Roll + Magic bullshit was so much cooler when I was in high school. At the time it was mind blowing, but now I don't want to deal with any Jim Morrison crap and the whole time travel to set up the big reveal that the heroes were planning it the whole time is just some serious Stephen Moffat bullshit. So we got a hotel where all the dead stars who are still worshiped wait for their fans to die so they can leave. And we got Jim Morrison as a lizard king and some Hollywood cult and it's very Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley and holy fuck this was way cooler in the 90s.

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Books Read in 2019 # 14-18 - mostly graphic novels [Feb. 25th, 2019|09:38 am]
Tim Lieder
14. Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito - I think that as much as I like Junji Ito for his body horror, I believe that a lot of the attraction is the way he depicts the horrible and evil as beautiful. According to the acknowledgments, several of Ito's editors and friends (as well as his cat) died when he was making this book. He offers that up as an apology for taking eight years, but it ultimately makes a deeper book where the metaphysical horror can be an afterthought to the sorrow that pervades these characters. The first story is about a man who sinks into his futon and doesn't get out of it. There's a whole stinger about him being all doped up and seeing fairies and his body fusing with the house, but really the power comes from how many people have this condition and how their loved ones can do nothing for them. Other stories include a woman who mates with a house (that one is a little silly) and one where the nanny charged with helping a young girl becomes stuck on her and eventually her ghost just hangs out on her. Other ones like the one where a woman wants to be dissected fall a little flat (her insides are Cthulu monster stuff), but Ito is a master and you can excuse some missteps.

15. Shutter vol 1 Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge & Leila del Duca - I was originally going to put this one and the Ito one together as one entry that went "what the hell was that?" but I read a bunch of stuff this weekend and I didn't want to make three separate entries. Also, where Junji Ito is body horror creepy and esoteric in a beautiful way, Shutter is more like an adventure story that doesn't quite want to tell you what is going on. It's about a woman who was an adventure heroine with her dad when she was a kid (they went to the moon) and a target of assassins now. There are cat people and family secrets and a secret brother who was born way too long after her dad died to be his son, but everyone agrees that he's her brother on her dad's side (so clone?) There's also a robot cat that looks like the classic Felix, but also might be a clock. Anyhow I didn't hate it. The art is good and the characters are interesting but the plot is a confusing jumble of stuff that might pay off in later volumes.

16.Nancy Drew Mystery Stories: The Hidden Staircase by "Carolyn Keene" - I think there was a mystery to this, but it was so obvious that the evil land speculator was behind the plots that I didn't mind just going along with the drift of privileged white girl and her aunts hanging out and looking for all the hidden passages. This is the 1959 version of the book and apparently between 1930 and 1959, they decided to turn the villain from a thief to a real estate speculator who hides the last land owner who sold his share of a development in order to drive up the price. Meanwhile he's also trying to buy a couple of old revolutionary era mansions in order to make a condo or luxury apartment. I know I'm just outright giving away the ending here, but the book just has them find the guy that is being hidden who then tells them everything. And somewhere in there Nancy's dad gets kidnapped, but everyone who is a witness just talks to Nancy as soon as the police let her interrogate the suspects.

I mentioned that this is about a privileged white teenager. She gets along with the local police. Her family friends or aunts own mansions. Her dad is trying to help with a land deal and the main problem is that the land owners are trying to hold out on him. When there are suspects, the cops let her talk to the suspects and the suspects just give her the information. Apparently she was turned more proper for 1950s audiences (as Betty Frieden argued, the 1950s was a major backlash in women's rights enforced by popular culture).

And I don't have a problem with telling the ending because the main way that the real estate guy is trying to get the houses is to scare them with noises in the walls as if a ghost. So it's a plot that Scooby Doo stole and just kept going.

The one plot point I loved was the fact that Nancy gets knocked out by the ceiling falling on her. This isn't because of an evil plot or a purposeful attempt on her life but just because the damn house is so old. She's fine.

17. Adventure Time: Masked Mayhem by Kate Leth and Bridget Underwood - This is one of those mysteries that you don't exactly appreciate when you are reading it because there's a lot of misdirection that all turns out to be just a series of coincidences, but since it's so committed to the noir detective genre where there are conspiracies and hidden daggers everywhere it's easier to appreciate after you think about it. It's like the Big Lebowski that way (and no way else). Finn isn't even in this one for long. Instead it's a crazy BMO story and crazy BMO is the best BMO. The mystery of who hit Marceline with a pie and who TP'd Lumpy Space Princess's party are pretty low stakes but the seriousness that BMO treats them is great. Of course, this isn't a new joke, but it usually makes me happy.

18. Saga vol one by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples - How did Image become such a great company. Last I paid attention, it was a bit of a joke, more of a vanity project for Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld than an actual company. Yes, I know that the main philosophy was about creator's rights and ownership of copyright material (so no one gets screwed like Kirby) but the execution was so lacking at the beginning and the rights fight over Miracleman just seemed to make everything unfortunate. But now it's putting out some of my favorite titles. These are passion projects and they show just how much fun writers can have when they don't have to stick to a continuity or company standard.

Anyhow, I am trying to read this from the beginning and I am still confused. Enjoyably confused but confused. The cynicism about war, the strange politics, the royalty with televisions for heads - this is all so wild. I thought that the spider woman with the six eyes and six arms was around in later books but she gets killed here. I was not nearly as impressed with Y the Last Man as I am with this one.

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Books read in 2019 # 12-13 - Cults and Zombies and Ghosts [Feb. 19th, 2019|11:21 am]
Tim Lieder
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12. Mob Psycho 100 book 1 by One - This was recommended because it's a cartoon now and it might be on Netflix so I'm going to check it out. I suspect this will make up the first two episodes as it gives us the character of Shigeo or Mob and fleshes out his world as the assistant to a bogus exorcist with the twist that he actually has psychic powers. Then we have two stories where Mob is forced to interact with people. Those are the more interesting ones because they reminded me that I really need to research autism spectrum since I think I'm guilty of learning about autism in a passive way of "I think I got it" where I know that Autism Speaks is terrible, vaccines don't cause it, many less extreme cases get chalked up as social awkwardness, creepy assholes claim to have it, I think that some of my friends have it but I don't know, something about not getting social cues automatically but being able to train themselves to recognize social cues and the robot boy from AI being a pretty good metaphor for autism (at least according to an article on The Dissolve when that site was viable).

So Shigeo has two major stories. First he is being induced to join an after school group, but he doesn't really want to do it. He even tries to get his boss to get him out of it. Eventually he joins the other group of jocks because that seems better for actually improving his lot in school. The major story, however, is about Shigeo getting involved in a cult that is based on everyone smiling and laughing. They are forced by each other to smile and laugh.

This is where the autism really kicks in (as far as I know from my holy fuck I got to research this) as everyone else is highly influenced by the smiling and laughing part of the cult. Even the people who were originally suspicious of the cult are sucked into it. Only Mob is unmoved. In fact, he doesn't even understand why he's supposed to be moved. He gets that other people are making the faces, but it doesn't really work with him. In fact, it all just makes him more uncomfortable. And then when the counter at the edge of the page gets to 100% he destroys everything.

I think that means that the author is placing autism in the context of a super power. Not that autism is a super power, but that the super powers resemble autism - I think. I might be reading this in the best way possible because I think that I like it and I don't want to get too enmeshed in the "disabilities = magic" debate. I think this version does fall on the decent side of that line, but I don't have autism so I think I should definitely listen to people who are more affected by autism more.

13. The Walking Dead Compedium one by Robert Kirkman and artists - HOLY SHIT! They killed Lori by shooting her through the baby. That's just fucking evil. I read that story before but this is my attempt to just catch up on all the Walking Dead because I'm hooked now, more than I was when I was reading random comics that I picked up and watching most of the episodes but I don't think that the death of Lori was quite as devastating when I read it as a fairly short comic story ending with Lori's death. As something that happened at the end of a collection of 49 issues, it was fucking evil. Because even though I didn't like Lori as a character, I got to know her more over the long story and what she meant.

I think that Lori for all of her nasty decisions and anger was a symbol of the hope that things could get better. Babies are pretty symbolic especially in zombie books but really symbolic in The Walking Dead which is an attempt to truly delve into the collapse of society that comes with zombie movies and does it by skipping over most of the zombie movie plots (except for 28 Days Later which pulled the same coma trick) and going straight to the ending where most people are dead. The army is useless and the zombies are just part of what is going on now. Hell, most of the story line comic books had the same blurb on the back cover which came down to a libertarian fantasy of the world falling apart and no one having to pay taxes or expecting good roads.

So I read the original huge arc that ends with the Governor and Lori is just fucking dead. There are a lot of deaths on Walking Dead and it's kind of interesting to see that Carol is just gone in the comic. Like she just gets very sad and suicidal and lets a zombie bite her. On the other hand, Sophie is still alive according to the Walking Dead wiki. But the differences between source material and adaptation is a discussion that Game of Thrones is practically a cottage industry.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I see a lot of the same faults with the book as the show - Rick is too much the focal point, minority characters die faster, don't get too attached. I also think that it's more interesting now that we see where its going with the ways that people get together and put society together. In this case, the Governor is the first attempt to show that there is a bigger world out there beyond Rick and the survivalists outside Atlanta and he's fucking awful. Negan on the other hand is much more nuanced - more evil than the Governor, but also more beneficial to the social order as a whole. Governor is a shitty warlord who is stopped by his own hubris. Negan is practically the Chin Dynasty, nasty but bringing everyone together.

Still I am reading this book and this book is the foundation of the series where Rick and friends are trying to just survive and find safety. In that early part of the series, a prison makes sense. Later on it would be a terrible base.

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Books read in 2019 # 9-11 - Very Stupid Comic Books [Feb. 6th, 2019|10:36 pm]
Tim Lieder
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9. Adventure Time: Pixel Princesses by Danielle Corsetto and various - there are a lot of artists who worked on this book and I feel really bad for putting it under this subject header as it's not a stupid book by any means. It's light and there's mostly material about video games that didn't excite me, but it's a fine book. It's Adventure Time. Lumpy Space Princess and BMO are the main characters as LSP has a party that she doesn't like. BMO wishes that princesses could be inside him. Magic Man is just there and we get video game stuff as the princesses go through levels to save themselves. Fetus Princess finds the cheat codes and they all learn an important lesson about friendship or accepting themselves. Except for BMO who gets to be a princess now, at least in this story and nowhere else. The end of Adventure Time made me remember that I had liked the show and hadn't seen it for a long time. Apparently that was a lot of people's reactions as most didn't even know that the show was still on. So I put a bunch of graphic novels on hold. Some are great and some are ok, and Ryan North does the same joke he did on Squirrel Girl which is to have footnote but for some reason used green ink.

This is one of the more ok ones.

10. Extraordinary X-Men: IVX by Jeff Lemire & others - I am so sorry for giving the artist the shaft in these reviews. I'm just not going to type out every name especially when there are three in one book. However, for this one the artists keep sticking in cheeseball softcore porn shots. Not the egregiously crass ones like Batwoman being introduced butt first (but still twisting around to show that the artists can draw boobs) in 52, but there are enough splash pages with body parts front and center to know that someone is thinking of the 12 year old boys without internet.

But really I'm most annoyed by how stupid this story is. It's just the X-Men deciding to go to war against the Inhumans for their Terragon Cloud (was that It? Who cares) and it skips over the war for some not terribly compelling character building. I think I like Jeff Lemire as a writer. I think I enjoyed his graphic novels about the deer-human hybrid. I don't remember them. I suppose he's trying to make something interesting by focusing on the single characters within the narrative of a dumb story about mutants and inhumans fighting to see who will be most popular in the movies and television shows (spoiler alert - neither apparently as the mutants are working for Fox and the Inhumans were never very interesting, at least not until Kamala Khan became one).

But the individual stories are dumb. Storm decides whether or not to go to war. A red shirt mutant dies and Storm says sure. Forge gets Old Man Logan to tell him what happened in the stupid alternate dimension of Old Man Logan which was stupid. Apparently Forge is happy to know that alternate universe Forge is a "badass" (please retire this word. I've read too much Cracked.com and it's worship of Theodore Roosevelt is enough). At least Logan is bored. And then there's one about the part demon sister of Colossus and then another one after the war is over (advertisement in the back for that book. This was a tie-in) where everyone plays baseball and the writers prove that they want to draw Storm with a very tight butt. And a special about Kitty Pryde coming home.

So fucking boring. So fucking inane. Did I really love the X-Men when I was a teenager? It was better once, right?

11. Batman/Two-Face: Face the Face Deluxe Edition by James Robinson and Don Kramer - DC has had a rough couple decades. Their books are just so miserable. There are bright spots like the title where Superman is living with Lois Lane and their son in Smallville (a series that seems like someone read about Marvel writers feeling trapped with Spiderman as a married man and decided to accept it as a challenge) but mostly it's a parody of a parody of a Frank Miller inspired shitfest. How many reboots? How many new ways to talk about the characters? The New 52 was supposed to be the one and it wasn't. What was that one where Darkseid basically destroyed Earth 2 and it was just an exercise in desperation (and sorry Black Superman - you are the president and the big superhero and Earth gets fucked).

That's just to say that I don't know what universe or reboot or timeline this one is supposed to be in. After 52 when Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman disappear for a year? Maybe? That's a plot element. Batman comes back to Gotham and things start going wonky. People start dying. Two Face seems to be re-emerging even as Batman charged Harvey Dent with being the new vigilante.

And that's where my WTF alarm goes off.

Batman decided that of all the people in the world to pass on his mantle to, Harvey Dent was the one. Just because Harvey is better looking now so he's no longer all angsty and therapy is going so well. So why not tell him to go around beating up criminals? That's a healthy outlet for a severely bipolar dude.

I really want to talk about the story and how it's a mystery where Harvey Dent is the main suspect but then it's too obvious that it's Harvey so it's someone else. In other words, it's like Psycho 2 where Norman Bates is not the killer but it is supposed to look that way, complete with the ending where yep, Harvey Dent goes back to being Two Face because the events have driven him back to crazy.

But I'm still hung up on the plot point of Harvey Dent being Batman's Robin, even more than Robin. Because what the fuck guys?

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Books read in 2019 # 6-8 - How I don't write but really should [Jan. 31st, 2019|05:56 pm]
Tim Lieder
6. Chew 12: Sour Grapes by John Layman & Rob Guillory - Lindsay Ellis recently put out one of those videos for PBS about writing and the role that food played in fiction. She included the LOTR magic food and the Turkish Delight. It was one of those insightful videos that made me think "Shit! Do any of my characters even eat??? Why don't I make food into a major part of my stories?" And then the next story that came up in the revision queue was a story about a couple friends who are walking through a grocery store after midnight when all of their friends have died of the plague (it's rather boring but I think I can get it up to snuff soon). So I don't neglect the food as much as I think, but that doesn't mitigate the anxiety of thinking that there's something that I'm not talking about.

Of course, if anything would set off my "I should talk more about food" it's this series. For years Chew has been the funniest and weirdest science fiction series full of people with food related powers like Cereduratus (maker of ice cream that kills people by freezing them to death) and Cibopath (the ability to read history of whatever you are eating). The main character Tony Chu is the Cibopath.

So this is the end of the series and it's funny as ever. The vicious killer rooster has an afterlife story. The rival Cibopath knows everything but he's also killed himself - and made it so that the only way Tony can know what he knows is to eat him. There are alien chicken people who are responsible for telling everyone to stop eating chicken at the beginning of the series (a restriction that people took less seriously as time went on).

Sadly, it's not as great as I wanted. I think that the major plots all tied up with the death of the vampire. Yes, that still left the whole alien writing thing unexplained, but that was the story with the emotional heft. So in this one, there's not much to go on beyond the end of the mystery and some stuff about Savoy explaining how everything happened (as Tony eats him). So it's great that it ended here and I wish that it had ended maybe a year earlier, but just as long as the writers didn't drag it out.

It reminds me of the X-Files when the black ooze plot was resolved. They used the black ooze in the movie. The conspiracies were all going towards that black ooze being part of an alien invasion complete with counter-invasions. Then the counter-conspiracy kills off most of the well dressed men and the black ooze aliens and that threat was gone. And so was the rest of the show. The show could still do decent single episodes. It wasn't one of the most popular shows on television for nothing. Yet, the combination of single episodes, episodes that made fun of the mythology and the long term story made the show fun. Kick out one of the legs and the stool collapses. After the black ooze, the long term conspiracy story was just irritating. For Chew, the plot could have been irritating if it had gone longer but for this point it was just fine.

7.Animal Kingdom Classification: Lobsters, Crabs and Other Crustaceans by Daniel Gilpin. I bought this book because I was hoping to start writing more "hard science fiction" and that required knowing actual science. Again, this is insecurity as I do know a bit more science these days but I think Jeff Vandermeer's natural science obsession with growth and mushrooms really intimidated me. I'm not Jeff Vandermeer. I don't live in Florida. I'm not obsessed with these stuff, but man I do love reading it. I couldn't even get through a Rachel Carson book on the wetlands.

This is a kid's book that introduces the various crustaceans including krills, crabs and lobsters. I don't think I would have bought it if I didn't want to absorb the facts of these things with exoskeletens but that need to find something to excite my imagination and start writing about group minds that act like krills or crab monsters kind of ruined it for me. I'm going to have to read it again in a year or two and hopefully find something else to inspire me.

8. Adventure Time: President Bubblegum by John Trujillo & Phil Murphy - This seems to be an addition to the story line where Princess Bubblegum is driven out of her kingdom. But in this case, there's a constitution. Adventure Time stories can be light or profound. This one is pretty light and it skirts around the fact that Princess Bubblegum is a monarch by virtue of the fact that she created everyone in the candy kingdom. The constitution means that she becomes president but then there's a shadow president (I guess that's like the British government joke). The shadow president is vanquished and everything is reset. I have a lot of Adventure Time comics from when the show ended and I checked out everything I could from the library. So expect more.

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Adam Resnick, Deadbeat Client Part 2 - The guy sets the standard for being pissy and then disappears [Jan. 26th, 2019|10:56 pm]
Tim Lieder
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So Adam Resnick sends me a word salad Thesis and I send him an abstract that goes along with that thesis. He initially says that everything is great and that he's going to send me $95 immediately. And then he sends another message saying that everything is random word generated and not up to snuff. Ok, fine. I was not happy with that job so I ask him what he needs, what he's trying to say and what the abstract should be according to the policy. He gives me that and I go to work to get Adam Resnick a decent Abstract. This has been going on for longer than 3 hours and I have three clients that again I have to catch up for this weekend.
“Mockumentary: Parody, Reality and the Subversion of Truth” analyzes the genre of television mockumentary from the period from 2003 until 2016. The genre of mockumentary serves as a metric to reflect the cultural position between truth and media, and provides a cultural history of the evolving attitudes toward truth in media. Even though mockumentary does not expressly state a casualty, as a cultural product it inherently plays with reality. This study first builds on the work of Robert Chambers whose theories on parody views it as a parasitic genre that trains the audience to view the original form with hyperawareness. This hyperawareness hastens the aesthetic shift in the original genre towards critical mass.
From this perspective, the study further explores the role of the mockumentary as a parody of reality television from the viewpoint of Mark Andrejevic’s work. Built upon the traditions of news and documentaries, reality television made reality into a genre. This brought an unintentional side effect of breaking down trust between media and audience. The methodology employed by reality television to create drama and pathos illuminated the calculating aspects of documentary and news footage.
Mockumentary as a parody of reality television is a genre of semiotic anarchy that celebrates the flexibility of a postmodern reality. From this point, the study tracks the aesthetic shifts of mockumentary from parody to carnival to performativity in the reality model. The performativity parody aspect of the mockumentary is explored in Trailer Park Boys and The Office, where the performative aspects of reality television were utilized. The study then explores the ways that mockumentary used parody aesthetics to question reality in the works of Armando Ianucci, Steve Coogan and Chris Morris. This leads into the hyperreality of Veep and the “truthiness” of the Colbert Report. Finally, the study will discuss how mockumentary in its baroque form is a direct conductor to an era where terms like “fake news” and “truthiness” are commonplace. At this point, the parody has become hegemony and mockumentary has lost the ability and desire to subvert the dominant narrative.
</blokquote>An hour later, I get a nasty email from Adam Resnick. I will put that below. The nasty email from Adam is weird because it references a line from the previous Abstract. Like he didn't even read the Abstract that I sent him. He just decided to bitch about the original abstract which I based off of HIS SHITTY WRITING. Before I get to that nasty email (which is the email he decided to send before disappearing), I revised that abstract so it would have less repetition.
“Mockumentary: Parody, Reality and the Subversion of Truth” analyzes the genre of television mockumentary from the period from 2003 until 2016. The genre of mockumentary serves as a metric of a cultural history between truth and media. Even though mockumentary does not expressly state casualty, it serves as a cultural product that reflects on the changing nature of our relationship to reality. This study first builds on the work of Robert Chambers whose theories on parody views it as a parasitic genre that trains the audience to view the original form with hyperawareness. This hyperawareness hastens the aesthetic shift in the original genre towards obsolescence.
The study further explores the role of the mockumentary as a parody of reality television from the viewpoint of Mark Andrejevic’s work. Built upon the traditions of news and documentaries, reality television made reality into a genre. This brought an unintentional side effect of breaking down trust between media and audience. The methodology employed by reality television to create drama and pathos illuminated the calculating aspects of documentary and news footage.
Mockumentary as a parody of reality television is a genre of semiotic anarchy that celebrates the flexibility of a postmodern reality. From this point, the study tracks the aesthetic shifts of mockumentary from parody to carnival to performativity in the reality model. The performativity parody aspect of the mockumentary is explored in Trailer Park Boys and The Office, where the participants always understand that they are working for an audience’s response.
The study then explores the ways that mockumentary used parody aesthetics to question reality in the works of Armando Ianucci, Steve Coogan and Chris Morris. This leads into the hyperreality of Veep and the “truthiness” of the Colbert Report. Finally, the study will discuss how mockumentary has read its baroque form as a direct conductor to an era where terms like “fake news” and “truthiness” are commonplace. At this point, the parody has become hegemony and mockumentary has lost the ability and desire to subvert the dominant narrative.
THis is when I thought I could get money out of Adam Resnick from NYU Grad School who is an assistant professor. Instead I am forced to assume this is the last I'm going to hear from Adam Resnick of NYU.
adam.resnick <adam.resnick@gmail.com>
To:
Tim Lieder

Jan 23 at 11:24 PM

Hello, i know you worked hard and nothing negative intended, but im not sure you maybe can complete this the way i need. Some of this reads like a google.translation, and it doenst make that much sense. Conflict management? some if the other sentences are almost unintelligible also jargon or the like.aside. I will just do it myself, it is past date. Ill pay you the agreed 75 on friday (i have no debit card) going forward i would suggest being a little more straightforward regarding your chops of specialty writing, just to avoid wasted time
Now this is something that I would feel terrible about if I believed it. The fact of the matter is that I did not use the term "conflict management" in anything but the original one. At first I assumed that this was Adam Resnick not getting the right document.

Now I think it was a case of Adam Resnick acting like he was the aggrieved party in order to weasel out of paying me. Also there's really no way Adam Resnick would be able to write an abstract that isn't a word salad in the time allotted because you read that thing he sent.

So that's Adam Resnick, deadbeat client. I'm not going to get too bent out of shape over this one because it's $75 and I got the same amount from another client for next to nothing (I just had to make up a couple flyers and photoshop a logo for his site). So it's the trade off. A couple days wasted for a client who turns out to be a deadbeat and is Adam Resnick (not the cool one who wrote Cabin Boy) and a few hours for a client who was quite generous for a little bit of graphic design that isn't even in my main skill set (I had to get a friend to design my last book cover when I kept trying to be fancy with it and fucking up)
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Deadbeat client of the week - Adam Resnick - most likely not the one who wrote Cabin Boy [Jan. 26th, 2019|10:35 pm]
Tim Lieder
[Tags|, , , , , , , , , , , ]

In looking up this deadbeat client, I searched for the right one as the Adam Resnick who wrote Cabin Boy is probably not also writing a thesis that focuses on the mockumentary genre. I suspect that it's this guy https://www.facebook.com/adam.resnick.739

https://www.purchase.edu/live/profiles/463-adam-resnick

There are other Adam Resnicks on Facebook who could be him, but they don't have media studies as their graduate school thing. So apologies to that Adam Resnick if the Adam Resnick is this guy - http://facebook.com/adamres613 - or this guy - https://www.facebook.com/adam.resnick1 - but I doubt it.

Anyhow, this is going to be a two part story as the material with the Abstract is going to take up the majority of it. The first part
Stevens Adamson <baseballwaivers@gmail.com>
To:
Jan 21 at 6:16 PM

Hello,

Could you do TOC for my dissertation if provided you a template and the info? I also need a 1 page abstract that you could generate from the text I give. You would have to either know already or research the proper format of. I am swamped and need done asap if possible
He's using a burner email address. That's fine. I don't particularly have to know my clients' names and it won't make things terribly hard to find out. So I do the TOC and he's happy.

It's in accordance with Template for TOC
Harvard Thesis Template - Harvard Extension School
https://www.extension.harvard.edu/thesis-template-help/harvard-thesis-template.dotx

Here is the TOC:
Table of Contents
Frontispiece i
Chapter I. Methods and Research 1
Introduction………………………………………………………………………..3
Mockumentary and Hyperreality 12
Mockumentary and Carnival 21
Documentary and Reality Television 25
Statement of Purpose 29
Chapter II. Why are these people on Television? Performativity in The Office & Trailer Park Boys 30
Chapter III. Tracking the work of Armando Ianucci, Steve Coogan and Chris Morris: When Parody Aesthetics Contort Reality 68
Chapter IV. Veep, Hyperreality and "Truthiness" 94
Chapter V. The Baroque Mockumentary: Modern Family, Parks & Recreation and Parody as Hegemony 124
Notes 151
Works Cited 158
That's mostly a formatting. The problem comes when I need to do an abstract and this is what he sends me:
here is the rough copy of the intro, i dont have the finished one handy. it should work to help you compile the abstract with the toc. When can you haver it finisehd by? Ill paypal asap










Television Mockumentary: Parody, Reality and the Subvsersion of Truth.





Chapter 1- Documentary, Reality Television, Methodology and Frameworks.





1A. Preface/Statement of Research



Robert Chambers in his study of parody highlights a quote from Robert Phiddian attesting to the relationship between parody and genre; “it is a parasite genre that can attach to any other, supplementing it dangerously, living off its mimetic, expressive or rhetorical energy” (229). Expanding this analog of the parasite further, parody strengthens itself first with a semiologic intensification; configuring codes and training the audience to become hyperaware of genre form, this intensification presses the genre cycle to critical mass, eventually resulting in its decline. To continue further into the zoological, parody is the nematode that forces the host to ravenously consume food while simultaneously absorbing all the nutrition; starving the host animal to death. This relationship It is not a symbiotic paradigm where both the parody and its host can continue to exist, instead parody feeds on the conventions and codes it subverts, sustaining itself on the expectations of the audience while simultaneously razing and drawing attention to these same conventions. When taken to the utmost this process so severely undermines the codes of its dependent genre that it becomes weakened to the point of nonexistence. This likens to Christian Metz’ placement of parody within his analysis of genre cycles. Parody helps to not only redefine genre, but pragmatically it presses forward textual cycles by speeding up genre convention to critical mass. (49). The parody form directly preceding the baroque/deconstructive phase, after which the genre reaches a type of reflective death, where it becomes saturated with irony to the point of decomposition (83). This discussion is very apro po when analyzing the state of television comedy from 1992-2017 and the emergence of the mock-doc nee mockumentary parody as a parasitic attachment to the reality show/sitcom/news show/documentary.

With the critical and commercial successes of the original UK “The Office” on BBC[1] and its corollary on NBC[2], the logic of the mockumentary television form became widely proliferated as an alternate aesthetic to the long established three camera shoot. Borrowing some aesthetic and genre tropes from “Trailer Park Boys” on CBC[3], and the critically acclaimed but less commercially successful work of Chris Morris and Armando Ianucci,[4] “The Office” became an unmitaged pop cultural phenomena that still dominates the zeitgeist a la Seinfeld or Friends. As with all parody, the mockumentary style depended on an understanding of the formal conventions of the genres in which they subverted, be it “Nightline” and news formats for Morris and Ianucci[5], panel shows for “Knowing me Knowing You”[6] , the occupational documentary for the office, or the hallowed three camera sitcom. In the period of 2007- 2012, with HBO, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox debuting mockumentary first run comedies and rapidly jettisoning the conventional three camera setups from prime-time lineup (Variety), a marked sea change underwent the television medium, in which the mock form had either replaced or reframed the genre it utilized. The reasons for this change are many and well documented; the explosion of reality tv as a cost-effective phenomenon (Ouellette 43), self-casting and the internet creating a new network of production (Murray 73), the introduction of the modern surveillance economy (Andrejevic 212) and changes in cultural attitudes towards privacy etc. (28). Furthermore, the wildfire success of “The Office” US guaranteed that mockumentary no longer instilled network exec fears of bankrolling a genre that may be too “difficult” to be profitable (Jenkins 41). All of these causes certainly lay the groundwork for the explosion of the mockumentary form, changing it from a niche parody aesthetic to a viable mainstream comedy form. The fields from which mockumentary emerge, and an analysis of these cultural and industrial factors is not the entirety of where a study of mockumentary lies however, instead I would offer a study of mockumentary which lies in two different avenues
This is the word salad that he wants me to make an Abstract from. But he said he would pay right away. Note that. It will be important in the next one. Also note that this is not the whole thing.

Mistakes I made -
1. Trying to build an abstract off of this mess
2. Not initially asking him what he wanted to say in the thesis.
3. Not just building off of the TOC
4. Not asking for the format of the Abstract.

These are all things that I should have asked but it's been so damn long since I've actually done an abstract for someone's thesis. Either way, this part I'm not bothering about. I wrote this vomit based on what he gave me because I was trying to just push through:
“Mockumentary: Parody, Reality and the Subversion of Truth” examines the role of the mockumentary genre within the context of a growing distrust in media. The study builds on the work of Robert Chambers who described parody as a parasite genre that attache to another genre and live off of its rhetorical energy. As the parody strengthens itself with semiologic intensification, it trains the audience to gain a hyperawareness of the original genre form. The parody sustains itself on the expectations of the audience which will weaken the initial form. Parody speeds up genre conventions to critical mass and hasten the genres being parodied. Originally the mockumentary was a niche parody aesthetic but the success of “The Office” both UK and U.S. versions, rendered it a viable mainstream comedy form. Mockumentaries are parodies of reality shows which draws upon the styles of nightly news and documentary. The mockumentary form serves as a metric that reflects the cultural position of media truth, highlighting the breakdown of trust between media and the audience. In essence the mockumentary is a form of technological hybridity that utilizes technological semiotics. As the mockumentary relies on televised aesthetics rather than referential truth, it highlights methodologies used by documentaries and reality television shows. Documentary and reality television replicate idealized structures of late capitalism in an effort to dictate cultural hierarchy. Mockumentary as a parody of these genres subverts the narrative. This paper will discuss how the mockumentary has subverted the narrative but as it has become commonplace, the subversive energy has been lost and mockumentary has become hollow. This paper will examine the mockumentary as a cultural phenomenon from three major perspectives – antecedents, hyperreality and subversion. The relationship between mockumentary and its antecedents allows it to train the audience to critically approach pseudo-realism of reality tv and documentary. Hyperreality and spectacle is purposefully created by mockumentary in order to underline how it is created in documentaries through editing and conflict management. Finally this paper will discuss the waning ability of mockumentaries to subvert the dominant narrative as reality tropes are abandoned for slick production values.
Now at first he's ok with this thing since I'm taking lines directly from his paper in order to make something that actually kind of makes sense.

He writes back got it, invoice rresnick81@gmail.com when you are finished, if you can give me just a short sample of the abstract when done. On Facebook that comes out as Adam Resnick.
Stevens Adamson <baseballwaivers@gmail.com>
To:
Tim Lieder

Jan 22 at 6:42 PM


frontispiece shuold be I , the rest acknwoldegements etc can be deleted. We can start chapter 1 at page 1
chapter v should be parody as hegemony, rest looks good. I send him the Abstract and I get
Pretty simple stuff
adam.resnick <adam.resnick@gmail.com>
To:
Tim Lieder
,
Stevens Adamson

Jan 22 at 11:54 PM

Looks good thanks so much, can you send invoice to rresnick81@gmail.com instead. Ill throw you a 20 tip for the extra time



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Tim Lieder
Date: 1/22/19 7:47 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: Stevens Adamson <baseballwaivers@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Table of contents and Abstract job

ok

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 7:42:24 PM EST, Stevens Adamson <baseballwaivers@gmail.com> wrote:



frontispiece shuold be I , the rest acknwoldegements etc can be deleted. We can start chapter 1 at page 1
chapter v should be parody as hegemony, rest looks good.



On Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 7:32 PM Tim Lieder <omanlieder@yahoo.com> wrote:
Attached is the TOC.

Look it over and let me know if it needs to be changed.

Tim
And then I get the following -
Stevens Adamson <baseballwaivers@gmail.com>
To:
Tim Lieder
,
Stevens Adamson

Jan 23 at 12:14 AM

sorry other email, invoice 95 to rresnick81@gmail.com, and I will settle with you asap Thank you again


Show original message

Stevens Adamson <baseballwaivers@gmail.com>
To:
Tim Lieder

Jan 23 at 12:41 PM

Hey sorry Tim,

I am having an issue with my debit card and can not process my paypal right now, can I send you a check? It should be resolved in a day or two minimum. Apologies. I am having a fraud block. I also had some more time to review this and it doesn't really make much sense? Looks like just random words put next to eachotehr?


Show original message

Stevens Adamson <baseballwaivers@gmail.com>
To:
Tim Lieder

Jan 23 at 12:45 PM

My fear is that you may have not done an abstract at this level before?
Here is the point where I should worry because these are the excuses that clients come up with when they don't want to pay. I will post the updated version in the next post.
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Books read in 2019 # 3-5 - Diversity in Graphic Novels [Jan. 24th, 2019|01:07 pm]
Tim Lieder
3. Silk: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon by Robbie Thompson, Stacey Lee, Annapaola Martello & Tana Ford - My familiarity with SIlk was from the Spiderman related titles where she was the one who was wearing a weird nightgown made of webbing that is supposed to be her costume. I did not know about her origins as a Korean American or the Stockholm Syndrome backstory where she was kept away from the world for 10 years and her family is missing.

This is the first issue of Cindy Moon in her own book and it works as an introduction for the uninitiated (those who weren't eager to see the new Spider title and just checked it out from the library) as she gets presented as a counterpoint to Spiderman. She's working for the Daily Planet but J.Jonah Jameson likes her both as an employee and a superhero. She's drawn like a human being which is a nice relief to the male gaze comics that I've been gorging myself on since I was 12. Really easier to claim that a heroine is a feminist character if she is drawn like a person instead of a Playboy model. I'm not terribly thrilled with her expressing displeasure with Peter Parker by sucker punching him since it's a trope that's used too much, like cops pulling out their guns and pointing them at people. But the emotional truth of Cindy not going with Parker just turning her over to the Fantastic Four to work on her issues when he just outright blabs her family history is wonderful.

My favorite part is when Robbie Thompson does something that I loved in Spiderwoman (It's very strange but I LOVE every Spider title except for ones where Peter Parker is the original. He's off being an entrepreneur. It's boring) which is to forge a relationship with a villain who is practically a non-entity and at first is a joke. At first, it's the kind of relationship between hero and villain that gets played out. Hero beats up a villain who is mostly a joke. Villain goes off and comes back with much better tech. Villain becomes a real challenge and a lot of it has to do with the fact that the villain is angry over being mocked and passed over.

And then the twist that worked so well in Spiderwoman and I love in this one as well - the villain is a real person and a human being with motivations and feelings that go beyond being pissy about a superhero fight. Just one moment puts this book above a lot of other books which is when he just says "I give up. Please stop." Then there's a whole lot of caper stuff to get his daughter back but when he shows up again he's saving lives from the big event that is the lead up to Secret Wars.

The Secret Wars ending is kind of just there. I kind of like it but I know that Ms. Marvel also did it well. But there's something about the world ending and everyone trying to find their loved ones and be their best selves that just makes me all weepy. And it does advance the plot as she finds her brother who seems to have been lobotomized.

4. Rick & Morty Volume 2 by Corman Maclean & Cannon Flardi - It's fan fiction. I mean it's fine. But graphic novels of television shows, especially television shows with emerging world building and mythology are going to play within the lines. The main story is the alternate universe where everything is Steampunk and Morty is the dictator. Everyone falls into the usual line. Summer is angry and resistance. Jerry is pathetic. Beth is the commandant for her psychopathic son. The Rick and Morty of the regular universe are more tourists than active participants. There's also a ball fondlers advertisement that takes up 22 pages because everyone loved intergalactic television.

The "A Very Special Blumbus" chapter is the only one that really made me happy I bought the book. The art is creepy and the story is a take off on the Christmas tale but with cannibalism. And I know that using Christmas as a take off to tell creepy stories is a standard joke (Lindsay Ellis kind of ruined that for me by pointing it out), it's still funny.

5. Junjo Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu - Junjo Ito is one of the creepiest manga artists working today. His books are full of body horror and psychological terror. Tomie should not be scary (her power is that people kill her and she comes back) but every story is a paranoia inducing freakout. So of course, he's going to write a book about his cats.

There was a joke that William S. Burroughs was creepiest when he wrote a book about his cats. I don't agree. Burroughs wrote creepy junkie books for the most part, but the book itself was sweet and heartfelt. This on the other hand tries to be as creepy as possible. His wife has no pupils and looks like she's going to eat him. The white and gray cat Yon has a death head patter on his back. Whenever he depicts himself wanting to play with the cats, he draws himself like one of trying to kill Tomie.

However, the book actually comes to a point where he starts drawing things more naturalistic. So instead of a joke of Manga Horror Guy making cats even creepier than snail people, it's actually a purposeful reflection of how he went from a cat hater reluctantly agreeing to live with them to a man who genuinely loves his cats. So they are softened. So like the Burroughs book, it's pretty sweet. But unlike the Burroughs book it takes a bit to get there and is creepy as fuck for at least the first third.

http://www.patreon.com/timlieder
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Books Read in 2019 # 1-2 SPIDERMAN!!!!!! And other people, because Peter Parker is boring. [Jan. 16th, 2019|08:07 pm]
Tim Lieder
1. Deck the Malls! by Mackenzie Cadenhead & Sean Ryan - The full title of this one is An Early Chapter Book: Marvel Superhero Adventures, Deck The Malls and the cover has Venom menacing Spiderman while Spider Gwen swings around in the background. I made this one into my first review for my youtube channel and even though it's public, I'm not linking to it. Find it on your own (the name of the channel is Cannibal Teddy - and I might actually try making some book trailers - because it's 2007 and that's a thing).

Go on look at the video -

Subscribe to my crap - not because I'm doing anything particularly earth shattering (unless you want multiple views of the same Washington Heights apartment and sidewalks) but because when I load up those videos I get Ted Talks after them, and I really don't want that to be the youtube algorithm for my videos.

And I promise that if I keep doing them, I will be posting stuff that you actually want to see by at least August. I bought a microphone and camera (cheapest I could find - man, those youtube instructional videos really don't understand the meaning of "most affordable" when they are recommending $500 equipment) and downloaded Movie Maker.

So yeah, if you find my review of the book on youtube, expect a lot of pauses and mumbling. Just really need to work on the editing of that thing - and the actual speaking. Also maybe I should have written down my thoughts first. It really sucks.

And I titled one youtube clip "Not Masturbating" mostly because I tried shaking the phone. That has gotten the most views.

Anyhow, this book takes place in an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy became Spider Gwen and Peter Parker became Spiderman and they are both 10 or 11 years old. Or maybe 12. And they are friends - who haven't killed each other. This is really part that I find compelling because in the Marvel universe - whichever one you are in - either Gwen kills Peter or Peter fails to stop Green Goblin from killing Gwen.

Mostly I find this fascinating in the fact that I vaguely remember reading books like this one when I was a kid. Something about Aquaman and his family - only to later learn that the son was dead. I think there was another one that re-told Captain America and Falcon beating up on Zemo who was Red Skull's son. Or anther son of Red Skull. Either way, that one was pretty morose.

So they have been making comic book stories for kids for years and for comic books that are considered juvenile, it's interesting to know that many of the parts of comic books that teenagers can handle are kept out of the kid versions (of course, comic books are not for children and fuck Bill Maher - and if you ever find the video, this is where I start stumbling over my words the most because I realized that I didn't actually have a decision concerning how I wanted to approach that issue and so it flubbed into a "hey comic books but for kids - that's kind of weird, right?")

So the plot is pretty standard. Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are in the mall. Venom causes problems. Gwen Stacy gets in with her band and plays the drum and that's it for Venom. The differences from canon are what make it interesting. Not only are Peter and Gwen younger and both alive but Peter is a materialistic little cretin who makes his Aunt May wait in line for a Stark company playstation. The police officers are called Officer Ditko and Officer Stanley. This is how these things go.

It's cute.

2. Spiderman/Deadpool: Serious Business by Joshua Corin and Will Robsin - I loved the art in this one. I like Deadpool as a character. Making Spiderman the straight man to Deadpool's antics was great fun and yet, I'm holding the book in front of me and there's not much I can remember without referring to the actual text of the book. Years from now when I'm reading this review, I will wonder if I ever did read anything in the Spiderman/Deadpool genre.

The artwork is amazing. I'm going to say that again. The artwork is amazing. The stories are low stakes and not compelling. In the first story, they add Slapstick because if Deadpool is hilarious, Deadpool and Mayhem are even more funny. Only the ultimate joke of the story and the reason why everyone is running around is because a widow is seeking information about her husband who faked his death. That's really the whole thing. The not-dead husband is a scary mobster but he is so afraid of his wife that he fakes his death to get away from her.

That story ends with Deadpool shooting Slapstick and chopping off his head. Spiderman and Deadpool do a bit where Spiderman is the stern father figure and Deadpool is a misbehaving brat and then the next story is Madripoor where Wolverine shows up but he's a robot because this was written when Wolverine was still dead and then it's up to Arcade.

I just read a Gwenpool with Arcade and Deadpool was also in that one. The over-exposure to Arcade has made me realize why this character never clicked for me. He should have been great. He should have been one of the best but there are no stakes. He always puts the heroes in the murder maze and they always escape. He doesn't seem to be killing civilians, just failing to kill superheroes. Once you stick the X-Men or Spiderman in the Arcade murder maze, you know that nothing is going to change.

Granted, that's all villains. Rarely do the villains actually get to kill the main characters or their friends. Only Arcade is more obvious about it because he always brings up the possibility that he's going to kill someone. That's his entire thing is to murder people in a whacky maze.

Only instead of the Joker, he's a bargain basement version of the Riddler and even his tricks don't work.

http://www.patreon.com/timlieder
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Maybe Book Tube is not for me [Jan. 11th, 2019|11:14 am]
Tim Lieder
I'm looking at those "Book Tube" videos and they are all so damn chipper. And seriously, there is not a chance in hell that I'm going to review most of the books that they are reviewing. Hate to be that guy but I know a lot of these people. I remember the contempt I felt for a guy live tweeting the Academy Awards at his apartment and saying that he would not say anything mean about the boring best song because he wanted to get into this industry and shit talking about his contemporaries is a bad idea. They weren't his contemporaries really but he was still worried (so if you want to know why R. Kelly and the rest could get away with it, know that the entertainment industry is even more stuck on the "don't say anything about anyone" track than the most obnoxious Chofetz Chaim fan.

Anyhow, I can't really talk about many new books because I know too many writers. I am a writer. And there are two things that bother me -
1. Horrible people who write great books (less problematic unless they are alive - currently I'm loving Burr by Gore Vidal - it's so good. He's so shitty).

2. Really sweet people who write books that I hate.

Note the qualification on that last one. Jay Lake helped me out a great deal when I was starting out Dybbuk Press and he didn't have to answer any of my questions. I hated his books. I thought he was a great guy but I'm not going to be going on some Book Tube either lying about his books or saying how much I hate them.

That feels safe because he's not alive and won't get his feelings hurt, but I still feel bad about it.

Also I don't really want to get into the whole extra stuff that goes on - the book hauls, the book shelves, the fan gushing over modern authors who follow the tubes, the advice on how to make a book tube (ok I watched those).

Of course, this is all academic as I don't have the time, equipment or skills to make videos like that yet. So right now I'm like I was back in my 20s, an unpublished author sending shit out to markets that were rejecting it fast while feeling a little weird talking shit about books that I hated because damnit, at least Piers Anthony could finish a fucking book.

http://www.patreon.com/timlieder
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testing this thing [Jan. 11th, 2019|03:20 am]
Tim Lieder
One of the problems of having a Wordpress and a patreon blog is that i'm going to have to cross post everything manually. Of course, Patreon is really selling the blogs and the secret blogs. But I really need to put it all together.

Of course, another thing I could do would be a channel where I read old blog posts and point out some really shitty attitudes based on misogyny, racism, transphobia, etc.

http://www.patreon.com/timlieder
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They call it Book Tube [Jan. 11th, 2019|03:08 am]
Tim Lieder
What am I not doing? My actual job. The thing that I get hired for. I am not helping a client with a paper by either editing or writing it. Instead I just discovered that I can use my phone for videos and upload them on youtube. So this past week, you can go to the Cannibal Teddy channel on youtube and find dozens of minute long videos of the sidewalk as I walk along.

But I don't think that's going to make me money. Actually very little is going to make me money but holy shit, I am sick of term papers. I need more money.

Anyhow, I don't like my voice. So what the hell am I doing thinking of actually trying to make a youtube channel that will eventually make money (right now I cannot guarantee that the 14 views on the one video were not just me). And so I have two options (in my head, until something better comes along)

1. Reading Public Domain Poetry as the images show people getting killed
2. Book Reviews - I mean it's 2019 and I'm going to review every book I read this year anyhow. Might as well review the books that I read.

And review the books that I don't read. But I tried to do that already and I couldn't say much about the books that I couldn't finish beyond being bored with them. I mean there was the odd book that shit out an infodump in the first paragraph but mostly, I was just bored with these books. The characters were nothing and the story wasn't going anywhere.

That would get repetitive.

One thing about the book review channels is that a lot of them involve women (according to one of these reviewers the ratio is 40 women to every 1 man on these things) talking about how they do their videos. A lot of stuff about tags and sponsorship will be noted.

Apparently there's also a community.

Of course, if I want to review books it would not be current books. I don't get ARCs anymore. I have some ARCs from Amazon Vine but those are old.

No clue if that would work out.

Also timlieder.com - finally got my own damn website.

patreon.com/timlieder - just testing
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