Posted tagged ‘Battlestar Galactica’

Review: More Information Than You Require

May 20, 2009

It absolutely amazes me that I could be the exact target audience for a book.  And by that I mean a Jonathan Coulton/They Might Be Giants listening, Battlestar Galactica obsessed, Loren Coleman fan, with a decent grasp of US history, and ties to the outer edges of Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley.  OK, I guess that actually describes everyone who hangs out on Doombot, but you’ve gotta admit that’s fairly specific.

Anyway, John Hodgeman’s second book of fake knowledge is a great improvement over the still brilliant original.  The joke mostly remains the same, Hodgeman rattles off absurdities with an amazingly authoritative voice, and then finishes up with a list of 700 silly names (with molemen replacing the Hobos of the first book).  Many of these jokes have just enough ties to reality (i.e. Weekend At Burnies was inspired by United Artists filming a Pink Panther movie with the corpse of Peter Sellers) to make you momentarily question reality.  It’s a great shtick, and it’s amazing just how well Hodgman is able to pull it off throughout the book.

This is maybe the greatest bathroom book I’ve ever read, something you can pick up for 2 minutes and come back to later.  However, that’s also why it took me 6 months to finish, which is something I’m not terribly proud of.

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RA: Politics for Geeks

September 13, 2008

I’ve been aching to put together some recomendation lists for awhile now, and as it’s an election year I figured this would be a good one to start of with.  So my top 10 political stories for geeks:

10) Iron Council, the most political novel from New Weird proponent and former Socialist party candidate China Mieville.

9) Sam & Max: Abe Lincoln Must Die, Telltale games has done an amazing job by bring back Sam & Max to adventure games.  This episode is the highlight of it to date, thanks in large part to seeing the homicidal rabbit-like Max debate the Lincoln Memorial.  Right now it’s also available as a free trial to advertise the other 9 episodes.

8 ) Howard the Duck, the best satire of life in the 70’s comics ever produced.  Of particular note here are issues 7-9 in which Howard is nominated as the Presidential candidate for the All Night Party, only to lose when some lurid photographs of him get released.

7) V for Vendetta, forget Watchmen, V is Alan Moore’s masterpiece.  A searing blast of anarchy aimed squarely at Margaret Thatcher that didn’t lose any of it’s power when translated into a movie focused on Bush’s America instead.  Both the movie and the original are well worth checking out.

6) DMZ, Brian Wood’s chronicle of the second U.S. civil war (centered in New York City) is Vertigo’s best book (once 100 Bullets ends in a few months) and is by far the most relevant comic currently on the stands.

5) Futurama: A Head In the Polls, always a show with a slight politicla bent to it (Al Gore’s daughter was one of the writers after all), Futurama went all it for this episode in which the Planet Express team explore a political convention, watch the debates between Jack Johnson and John Jackson, and ultimately allow for the second coming of Richard Nixon.  One of my favorite episodes if only for the Hypnotoad.

4) Wag the Dog, Barry Levinson and David Mamet’s brilliant tale of a staged war used to distract the public from a scandal involving the incumbant President.  Some great performances from Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro and William H. Macy help to sell my favorite political film.

3) The Onion, still the best source for print satire of current events.

2) Battlestar Galactica, a continually surprising, Peabody Award winning space opera, that has proven to be the most relevant show on tv.  The writers excel at playing devil’s advicates.  Positing a world in which the heroes have no choice but to rig elections, commit terrorist bombings, hold secret military tribunals and criminalize abortions (they have gone on the record as actually being fairly liberal).  Now if it’ll just come back to wrap up the final season.

1) Transmetropolitan, the book that first put Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson on the map.  An epic chronicling how the press brings about the rise and fall of a President.  Besides the politics it is also one of the great works of futurism and a scathing attack on the failures of the press.  I’ve reread the entire thing at least half a dozen times now and I fully plan on doing so again in the near future.

Good tv returns

April 7, 2008

Whoops, guess I hit save and not publish yesterday.

This has been a fairly laid back weekend for me, and I’ve spent a great deal of it in front of my tv (ok in front of my copy of VLC). Battlestar Galactica ran the first episode of its final season with a brilliant new role for Gaius. Doctor Who began its fourth season with an episode that brings back Donna (my new favorite companion) and which introduced the cutest creatures ever. Finally Torchwood wrapped its second season by bringing back James Marsters but also continues the trend of endlessly torturing every cast member.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to work and thinking about library business once again.