Archive for December 19th, 2007

Dec 19 2007

Reality–Time Nexus

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I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Times named the Youtube Snowman one of 2007’s People That Mattered, alongside such real winners like a man that jumped into a subway track to save a guy going into epileptic shock.   This is what Time had to say of the Snowman…

Everyone knows that technology is changing politics—from the raising of money to the framing of messages to the distribution of attack ads. Nothing drives it home, though, like presidential candidates tackling a question about global warming posed by…a snowman. Undignified, Mitt Romney called the mini-movie creation of two unemployed Minneapolis brothers. But a better name might be ‘democracy.’

Actually, a better name might be “stupidity.” People like the Snowman have created a political climate where it is advantageous to attack the questioner rather than address what may very well be a meaningful topic (global warming).  Another political distraction… exactly what the country needed.

Time’s Man of the Year Award went to Vladimir Putin.  Runners-up included General Petraeus, JK Rowling, Hu Jintao, and Al Gore.  I find the Putin selection a bit puzzling.  The rationale is that he’s been consolidating power in Russia for some time now, undoing what what was left of democracy, etc.  But, unlike Hu Jintao, in the long term what his government does (or does not do) will probably matter very little.

I’m a huge fan of Rowling’s work– I frequently cite Harry Potter to illustrate principles of solid writing– and I’m familiar with Jintao’s work as well.  But I think there’s no question that the only one of these figures that will be discussed a generation from now is General Petraeus.  If we have, in fact, reached the point where a Western army can defeat a (remotely) nationalist insurgency, that would probably be the most significant change in warfare since at least the atomic bomb.  General Petraeus is like a one-man Manhattan Project.

Not to slight culture!  but Harry Potter just isn’t that important.

I think that a feat in global warming akin to what Petraeus appears to have pulled off– or is at least appearing to pull off– would be to convince some significant number of Western government to actually meet their Kyoto obligations.  Talk is cheap but, like most policy goals, environmental reform is not.  In the absence of any tangible progress along that front, I think that the Gore selection should have been postponed.

Did you know that I won Time’s Man of the Year in 2006?  I put it on my resume… it was great for a laugh.  🙂

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