28 October, 2005

Culture of Comics

Drew and I always joke about the "Culture of Fear" that abounds in America. While we are joking about it (complete with high fives), the fact remains that every joke comes from some form of truth, and that indeed, there really is a culture of fear being built by the government, along with a culture of blind trust. Take, for example, this article.
In at least six of the cases, US or allied forces arrested alleged conspirators who divulged details of operations they had been planning. Those plots involved preliminary ideas about potential attacks, not terrorist operations that were about to be carried out, the report quoted two US officials with knowledge of counterterrorism efforts as saying.
While I don't condone terrorism (come on, who does these days), I do remember that when I first read about the report, released on Oct. 6, my bullshit meter went off. Reading that article, and doing further research to find support for it, backed up the fact that the claims from the White House are flimsy at best.

I think that Bush, whose approval rating is at an all time low, was just trying to rally support by saying that those terror lots were successfully foiled. The article goes on to say:
One plan, the "West Coast airliner plot," for example, was uncovered in 2002, according to the White House. But an official familiar with counterterrorism efforts said details of that plot were not fully understood until a year later with the arrest of al Qaida's No. 3, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Mohammed provided information that suggested a plot that was not fully formed.
Sorry, but that really doesn't give me a reason to rally behind, say, the Patriot Act. It is ridiculous that this is the route that the president is trying to take to boost his popularity. It's very thin, and anyone willing to do a few minutes of research can find the same information I did.

That isn't to say that I am partial to the Micheal Moore style of propaganda. Indeed, I think that he a huge windbag with an axe to grind and the time to do so. However, I think that what he advocates, an informed public, is very important. I know that for a long time I never cared much for news, I was really only concerned with music and other such superfluous stuff. While I am still very much concerned with music (I'm ripping a ton of Paul's CD's as I write this), I also read the newspaper a lot more, and online newspapers and blogs. I feel that Moore, despite his extremely liberal position, is bringing the idea forward. If people at least know who he is, then they may be inclined to research the things he talks about and formulate their own opinion. I still think that he is a blowhard, and I still consider myself a moderate, however.

On a completely un-related note, this afternoon I was trying to remember what the guys name was who killed Superman back in like, 1993. I came home and procrastinated my work for night class further by looking it up online, thereby spending an hour looking for pictures of comic-book villains on the internet.

There was something about the villain in comics that I always related to, more so than the hero's and subjects of the comics themselves. I don't know why, perhaps it was their sense of dedication and work ethic at achieving something in the face of adversity. Save for a few hero's, most of the comic book characters were revered for their work and had it pretty good. I mean, Batman was sometimes maligned for doing what seemed like bad things, but hey, he was rich. I guess I feel the worst for Spiderman, because he was maligned and a journalist (read: poor), but hey, he was Spiderman so he was pretty sweet to begin with.

So I eventually found out that Doomsday was the character that killed Superman, and I moved on to my work. Also, when Superman was killed off (not for good, though), I kind of lost interest in comics. I never read the Superman series, but I kind of realized at that time what a 'marketing ploy' is and that comic book companies were concerned with selling comics because they made money off of them (duh).

Some of the villains, like Doomsday, were to sweet not to be in awe of. Take, for example, Bane. He is one of the only characters to go toe to toe with Batman and win. He even broke Bruce Wayne's back at one point. Every appearance from Bane in the comic series always ends in a draw, which is pretty awesome, and humanizes Batman to a point. I mean, the dude did need to go through an experimental drug procedure to be able to level with the Dark Knight, but still.

Tonight Drew, Michele, Paul and I went to this place called The Foodery in Center City at 10th and Pine. The place was really awesome, with over 500 Beers available for mix-and-match 6-packs. I got mostly ales, and the total cost came to about $16. Not bad, considering I picked six different beers. It's a great deal, and I got to try a bunch of different stuff. I still like Yeungling the best, though.


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