Linkblogging For 28/04/12

No MindlessWho today as The Beast Must Die has a post up on Mindless Ones for today already. I’ll try to get it up on Monday (this is why I give myself some free days in the new schedule).

Incidentally, my slightly lowered price on my Kindle books seems to have boosted sales to the point where it’s more than paid for the price difference. Maybe I’ll leave them at the lower price when the week’s up, so long as it doesn’t look like they’re cannibalising print sales too much…

Gavin B starts a series of posts on why Doctor Who and Jesus are different people.

Chris Dillow on why Labour never seem actually to help the poor.

Alex Wilcock on Judge Dredd

Colin Smith on Dan Dare

This is pretty much my attitude to so-called ‘piracy’ of my books (which I’ve never seen happen, but then I don’t go looking for it)

And the Lib Dems in Europe are going to kill ACTA.

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12 Responses to Linkblogging For 28/04/12

  1. Hal says:

    Ha! Mr Hickey, it seems you are as well-organized as I am, a few day after your “Discipline” post in which you try to whip yourself into shape regarding the days on which post will turn up the Kinks post for Sunday is nowhere to be seen! That’s familiar to me, often I mean to do something but either I forget, I feel too depressed (moan, moan, I know…), or I’m ill. Still, I keenly await your next Kinks article and hope you are not sick or over-worked.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      It’ll be up later today. I am a little ill at the moment, actually, and haven’t quite finished it, but it got mostly done last night — I just got too tired to finish it. Who post will also be up.

  2. Hal says:

    Don’t push yourself too hard, relax, do it when you feel like it. It should be enjoyable for you not a chore. You’ve reminded me of how good the Kinks were (unfortunately I’m now hard of hearing so can’t enjoy them fully beyond memory). On another tangent have you ever seen American Grafitti(excuse spelling)? The use of the Beach Boys’ All Summer Along in the closing credits is weirdly heart-breaking, it speaks of loss, even the loss of things you’ve never had.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I have to push myself — I’m one of those who hates writing but loves having written, so if I don’t push myself I never get anything done. Commiserations on the hearing loss as well — my own hearing is noticeably deteriorating, though luckily it was extremely good to start with, and I worry about it a lot.
      Never seen American Graffitti — Star Wars put me off ever wanting to see anything else by Lucas. Having said that, I know how important All Summer Long was in the film — it basically restarted the Beach Boys’ career single-handed.

  3. Hal says:

    Don’t get me started on Lucas! I must admit to still liking Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back but the rest of his later works, his attitude, and his pernicious influence on cinema, Ack! All of those things are abominable.
    American Graffitti is well worth watching despite some flaws (Ron[nnie] Howard and Cindy Williams’s characters are awfully bland and boring, the Mike Loves of the film), it looks great, there are good performances from Charlie (later Charles) Martin Smith, Candy “The Man Who Fell to Earth” Clark, Paul LeMat, and Richard Dreyfuss, and the use of music is great with Runaway, Sixteen Candles, and the Skyliners’ Since I Don’t Have You particularly adroitly employed. It introduced me to a lot of songs from that era so it’s certainly marvellous from that perspective. Forget that Lucas directed it, it’s a pretty good movie.
    I did not know that the Beach Boys ’70s comeback was partly sparked by the use of A. S. L. though I knew of Endless Summer’s success thanks for that information. It’s interesting that there was such a nostalgia boom in the ’70s but then to call it nostalgia is sometimes dismissive after all M*A*S*H began as a sitcom covertly about the Vietnam War and it didn’t make the Korean “Police Action” look charming and it – throughout its run even in its less effective smug later years – explicitly criticized and ridiculed political conservatism, right-wingery, and blowhard “patriotism”. Not to forget that in music Bowie and Roxy Music et al used earlier pop forms and bent them to their own ends.
    Thank you for your sympathy over my hearing loss, I have an eye disease called uveitis and it’s thought that there may be a connection, don’t worry too much about your hearing. I used to have great hearing so it’s especially depressing, I have a form of Asperger’s too so I’m a real barrel of laughs. Yes, I’m sure I’m not your target audience unless that target is Real Weirdoes! Still, keep up the interesting work.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Heh… well, I’m Aspergic and my wife’s legally blind, so you’ll fit in just fine ;)
      A lot of the actual nostalgia boom was down to the influence of American Graffitti (Happy Days, for example, was fairly obviously an attempt to do a TV version of the film, at least at first), but also the proximate cause was the OPEC oil crisis — at almost precisely that point, the first post-War economic slump (and the first time any of the Baby Boomers would have experienced any economic insecurity) pop culture stopped looking at a shiny, Star Trek future, and instead started looking for its golden age in the past (even Star Wars was ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”) while the future was increasingly dystopian.

  4. Hal says:

    I find that all fascinating. Also there’s the preponderance of dystopic futures that’s such a feature of mid-sixties to late seventies film and tv SF, heck even Star Trek utopian future born from the fire of eugenics wars and nuclear conflict. Doctor Who cooked up a variety of dire fates for the Earth (tho’ often there’s a recovery afterwards) and other worlds while on the silver screen we had Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Dawn of the Dead, Z. P. G., Logan’s Run et al Star Wars altered SF Cinema of course but even that had the Empire, a bunch of Nixonian authoritarian racist scumbags (though surprise, surprise most of the them are played by englishmen). It’s notable that the eighties sees a rise in american screen conservatism to match the resurgent Republicanism of Reagan, there’s creepy racist fantasies such as Rambo: First Blood Part II in which apparently a single ‘roided up american can defeat the Vietnamese army who are only puppets for the Soviets anyway (hello wacko Steven Berkoff) while even the fun Back to the Future has a pretty dubious conservative underpinning (there’s a good interview with Crispin Glover over at the AV Club site that throws interesting light on this and the politics of the ending). Still Cameron’s Aliens is an effective metaphor for Vietnam on film which sort of makes up for his Rambo contribution and I’ve read that Nick Meyer’s after-the-bomb telemovie The Day After finally got it into Reagan’s thick skull that nuclear war would be bad (duh). Well, I’ve rambled enough to not much point.
    Thanks for your kind comment.

  5. Hal says:

    Yes, I knew that Love and the Happy Day preceded American Graffiti but, as you say Andrew, it was the success of Graffiti that led to Happy Days being picked up. It’s odd that the dullest character from Graffiti or rather the actor who played him ends up the sitcom lead but then Ron Howard had been one of America’s Favourite Brats in The Music Man, The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD et al.
    Talking of nostalgia, it’s interesting how the folk devil of the biker or juvenile delinquent transforms in the dying days of the Vietnam War era and beyond into… The Fonz. Domesticated and popular (and, terrifically, played by a short sensitive Jewish man). Of course then we have Grease in which the “Kool Tough Rebel” becomes as big a cliche as the clean-cut All-American Jock or the husky John Wayneian Patriot (which are often closely-linked, with Marion being a jock).

  6. Mercy says:

    Dillow’s post is the old workers international line on welfare states (social fascism) flippantly recast in economistese. Which is kind of Dillow’s shtick and here it’s a good point but it’s kind of funny (though good!) to see a welfare-state supporting liberal endorsing it.

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