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Showing posts from May, 2014

On Comic Book and Super-hero Movies

A few weeks back, Dana Stevens, film critic at Slate.com and co-host of the excellent Slate Culture Gabfest, recorded one of her trademark Spoiler Special podcasts about Captain America: TWS. I recommend both of these podcasts series, in particular the Spoiler Specials, as they allow an intelligent, insightful film critic to chew over a recent movie without having to worry about giving anything away, since that's the whole idea. Anyway, on the CA:TWS podcast, Dana (we're friendly on Twitter, so I'll use her first name) discusses the movie with Forrest Whickman and admits that she is begrudgingly starting to accept that comic book and super-hero movies are here to stay and that her role isn't merely to dismiss them all out of hand (not that she did that, though I think she sometimes wished she could) but rather to separate the good from the bad. In my opinion, she's exactly right, but I don't think she goes quite far enough.

First, because I was a philosophy maj…

Austen 2014: Sense & Sensibility, Volume 2

Again, yes, late. I know, I know. Anyway...Austen!

While it is easy to take the two traits described in the title and ascribe one each to each of the Dashwood sisters, that is clearly an overly simplistic reading of the novel. Yes, Elinor is often guided by her good sense and Marianne frequently lets her romantic sensibilities overcome her, but they are both more than that. Elinor's distress upon seeing Marianne so hurt by Willoughby (and yes, I'll talk about him later, at length) is a clear demonstration of the strong emotional core that she contains, and Marianne's sense is stated flatly by the narrator when she introduces the character and is shown to us multiple times through her actions. Most notably, while she is sullen and often distant during this volume, either waiting for the letter from Willoughby that never arrives or reeling from the shock of his rejection, she still makes some effort at functioning in society, if only in a minimal capacity. She also demonstra…