June 23, 2003
In Darkest Night
Many of you may not know who Alan Moore is. But, if you've seen either the movie "From Hell" or plan to seeSean Connery's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", you've seen the remnants of his handiwork. Starting with "Swamp Thing" back in the mid 80's, Moore is one of the most prolific and influential comic book writers in the world, including books like "V for Vendetta", "Promethea", the vastly superior original graphic novels for the two movies listed above, and, of course, his definitive work, "Watchmen".
At the height of his Watchmen-spawne popularity, Moore pitched the attached story idea to DC Comics as a sort of Ragnarok for the Justice League of America, and it was promptly rejected, contributing, in part, to his long estrangement from the publisher. While it probably would have been a little too intense 17 years ago, it makes for a great read today. If you don't know much about comic book continuity, just remember one thing as you read it: Martians are shape shifters and they're afraid of fire.
The Capitalist versus The Aristocrat
Slate magazine caught this really interesting speech that Senator John Edwards gave last week. In it, Edwards says that, by seeking to eliminate virtually all taxes on so-called "unearned" income, like capital gains, dividends, and inheritance, President Bush has demonstrated that he feels the burden of running the country (demonstrated by paying taxes) should only be shouldered by those who actually work. In other words, there is a threshold of wealth that, once you surpass it, you are no longer responsible or accountable for providing for the nation, you only need reap the benefits. To Edwards, this is not conservativism, or even capitalism, but a cleverly disguised form of radicalism that has the potential to create an economic caste system in this country.
Edwards is, in essence, calling Bush a feudalist.