Litmus tests

February 1, 2006

This seems to be my week to be crabby and overly sensitive, so I might as well just go with it and try to get it out of my system.

  • Tom Spurgeon notes that Publishers Weekly buried its link to the New York Comic-con deep into the bowels of a long, flattering piece on the event. I note that a co-author of the article, Heidi MacDonald, neglected to mention that she’s a paid consultant for the event. Of course, I know she’s a paid consultant because she disclosed it on her blog, The Beat. So, partial credit on the full disclosure front, I guess. And maybe the article would have gotten too long if they had taken time to address all the potential conflicts.
  • Also from PW Comics Week, Serenity writer Buzz Dixon makes the statement that, “We’ve gotten a lot of really negative feedback on our Web site and in online reviews simply because it’s Christian.” Laurel Maury, the author of the article, doesn’t really challenge Dixon’s contention, though I can think of several on-line reviews that had no problem with a story from a Christian perspective (though there were mixed reactions to the quality).
  • It’s always interesting to me to try and figure out what distinguishes a parody or satire from a simple impersonation. There are a couple of recent columns that I guess are supposed to be poking fun at ridiculous gender stereotypes, but I don’t think either really makes the leap from imitation of those attitudes to insightful satire of them. One uses images of same-sex intimacy to frighten the presumably homogenous, homophobic audience. Hilarious and progressive, or insulting and clichéd? U-decide!
  • Thanks to an unfortunate coincidence of what’s in my CD player and what I’m reading on-line, I’ve been forced to wonder if there’s really any moral distinction between the good wizards’ use of memory modification to conceal their existence from Muggles, and the bad wizards’ use of the Imperius curse to control behavior and achieve their ends.