I don’t know about you, but I thought it was tough this week coming back from Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was never much of a holiday in my house growing up, but now that I have my own household, we’ve made it pretty great. Coming back after five full days of family and feast was not as easy as it might have been.
Well. The work week is almost over. That’s something, right?
Let’s get to it.
1. J.J. Abrams' favorite Star Wars fan theory is that one about Jar Jar Binks being evil (Entertainment Weekly)
That Star Wars fan theory suggesting Jar Jar Binks was a Sith mastermind and the franchise’s key evildoer [that] went viral? Count J.J. Abrams as a fan.
|Me's'a gonna fuck you up.|
Yeah. That thing is great.
2. The EU and Turkey’s Refugee Deal Is Good for the EU and Turkey. Not So Much for Refugees. (Slate)
Under the new agreement, struck in Brussels, Turkey will step up border checks and naval patrols to prevent unauthorized migrants from traveling through to Europe. In exchange, Turkey will get $3.2 billion in aid to help accommodate the more than 2 million displaced Syrians living in the country. If the new border controls are successful, many Turks may also benefit from visa-free travel to the EU and the deal promises a “re-energized” negotiating process on Turkey’s entry into the EU.
I’m not saying that this is a great deal, but I hope we can all see that Europe is just not going to take in some two million refugees. Two million!
Just last month, Erdogan had dismissed the idea of a deal like this as “bribery,” saying that if Europe wanted his help to stop the crisis, nothing less than full membership would do. The Turkish position evidently softened after some aggressive lobbying from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU aid offer being lifted from $2.3 billion to $3 billion.
Bribery is the wrong word. That is extortion.
3. New Batman vs. Superman Trailer
I am not a fan of this trailer.
First, Batman vs. Superman is the sequel to Man of Steel, but it’s obviously a Batman-movie, and we simply do not need another Batman movie after we just finished the Nolan trilogy not even five full years ago. Personally, I’m still waiting for the Superman movie that successfully captures the promise of Henry Cavill’s Superman without all the wanton destruction laced through Man of Steel’s final act.
Also: is this a dream sequence? Because there is no way that American soldiers are going to bend the knee to some alien after his alien cousins trashed one of this nation’s largest cities on prime time television. I mean, seriously? I get that the film makers are trying to set up a false god plotline, that people have compared Superman to the Messiah often enough. Back in the real world, though, Americans don’t bend the knee to anyone, much less immigrants. This country is scared shitless of Mexicans, and it’s absolutely terrified of Syrians, and yet these guys want us to believe that we’re going to bow down to a Kryptonian?
No. Fucking. Way.
Guilt by association, folks. It’s a real thing.
After the way Man of Steel ends, people would be calling for the execution of Kryptonians on sight, via nuclear weapons if necessary. What they would emphatically not do is fall down and worship some bunch of extraterrestrials with inscrutable motives and powers that are legitimately terrifying.
1978’s Superman was so much more successful than Man of Steel because of the way it introduced Superman to the American public. People saw him save a plane and then a helicopter and then a cat from a tree. He was friendly and approachable, and when folks had questions, he gave an interview to the local newspaper. He was not some inscrutable alien. He was a superhero first, who revealed himself to be an alien after-the-fact. That is decidedly not how the world meets the character in Man of Steel, though, and the psychology of this difference cannot be underestimated.
I suspect that the filmmakers understand this, but the plotline they’re looking for still feels forced in the extreme, and I have my doubts about its viability in today’s modern world.
[Carson] garners 16 percent support in a new Quinnipiac University poll released today, dropping 7 percentage points in the last month to trail frontrunner Donald Trump by double-digits.
Who cares? The real point is this:
Trump garnered 27 percent support, while Sen. Marco Rubio took 17 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz earned 16 percent. All other GOP candidates earned 5 percent or less.
Rubio and Cruz are both rising while Trump and Carson are both falling, and Rubio is the only candidate that the establishment will actually get behind. Granted, Trump still has followers, but how engaged are the folks who’re so angry that they’re actually considering a reality TV star for president?
Truth is, establishment voters actually vote. Those disgusted by the system are much harder to get off their couches. This is doubly true in caucus states like Iowa.
5. The Crown of Pluto (Amazon.Com)
Sneax and Elaina are back together again, but nothing is as it once was. Sneax has been to war, and it left her changed . Elaina stayed in Wanderhaven, in the ivory tower of Master Algernon Marconi, dreaming of adventure and of the chance to make a life of her own choosing. When the girls set sail aboard the Trident, they must learn to work together again, or neither is coming back alive.
The King of the Western Isles has a plan. He wants to support the rebels of the Sentralian occupied Ferro Islands in order to keep the Empire's infamous Legion of the Red Lord looking elsewhere. To do this, though, he needs an agent. That agent is Sneakatara Boatman, through the good offices of Draks Darkmore, notorious fire elf smuggler and gang lord.
Sneax doesn't want help, nor does she think she needs it. Meanwhile, Elaina wants to make a name for herself. What could possibly go wrong?
Yup, that’s the new book. I published it, and homemade cover notwithstanding, I’m proud of the way it turned out.
As I told my buddy Chris, though, applause for the new book has been muted. Folks are interested, I think. I’ve seen a lot of hits on the blog in general, and on the Sneax page in particular, but that hasn’t translated into an overwhelming number of sales, and as of yet, there aren’t any reviews up on Amazon. If you’re wondering, you can help quite a lot by reading the book and (especially) by writing a review letting folks know what you thought of it. The hardest part of self-publishing a book by far is just telling people about it, letting them know that it exists and that it’s worth their time. There’s a lot of crap out there. People want to know that they’re not wasting their time.
Bonus Points: [Army Football] Recruiting: R___ commitment (HudsonValley.Com)
After R___ watched the Black Knights play hard in a 31-21 loss to Rutgers, the Lawrence (Ind.) senior verbally committed to West Point.
R___, who played only quarterback for the Indianapolis high school this season, is being recruited as slotback or defensive back. He was offered by Navy and recruited by Air Force and Miami (Ohio).
It is the longstanding policy of this blog not to identify would-be Academy recruits before R-Day because service academy commitments are non-binding. However, recruiting for the Army Football Team’s class of 2020 appears to be proceeding pretty well if initial reports are to be believed. Last year saw Army steal a number of recruits from Air Force, and this year the team has stepped it up a notch by stealing a few from the Mid’s as well.
If you follow Army Football at all, you will know that it’s been a good, long time since the team has stolen recruits from Navy. Army still has a long way to go to close the gap, but we are—finally—moving in the right general direction.
I write for a lot of reasons. Yes, I like to write, but I also want to attract interest in this blog and in my writing in general. My first book, Sneakatara Boatman & the Priest of Loki, is out for the Kindle App and on Patreon, and the follow-up, Sneakatara Boatman & the Crown of Pluto, came out earlier this week on Amazon. These are D&D-style fantasy adventures; they use the same WTF-style plotting that I use in all of my writing. If you like Dr. Necropolis or any of my RPG stuff, you will probably like the Sneax stuff, too. As of thise writing, Sneax is rocking a solid 4.6 stars in Amazon's reviews section. Don't take my word for it. Go check it out for yourself.
Look, I’m not asking you to buy anything right now. However, if you’re looking for something to read, and you have a tablet, please at least consider checking out some of the Sneax stories. There are several stories up on my Patreon page that you can read right now for free. If you like those, and you want to support this blog, then buy my book. That is by far the best way to support my writing.