Greetings, earthlings! I am a writer, code monkey and hyperreality analyst for Wired, AlterNet, Filter, Huffington Post and more. Morphizm celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2011 on the Fourth of July. Want a data feed on Morphizm or myself? [Make Contact].
I have an editor at AlterNet who routinely puts me on the controversial path. He’s unleashed me on autism, tasers and much more. This time around, he asked me to look into The Daily Show, which has snarked truth to power since last century but has nevertheless displayed an unfortunate pattern of bowing down to power players when they show up across Jon Stewart’s desk.
So I dug into my memory banks and the consensual knowledge base of the internet and found seven unlucky moments that Stewart blew it, and even admitted it. The results appeared on both AlterNet and Salon, who created a sensational headline that had me worried but entertained all the same.
Breaking: The comments generated by the piece on both AlterNet and Salon are almost as informative, and hilarious.
‘Really you know,’ said Bilbo in his best business manner, ‘things are impossible. Personally I am tired of the whole affair.’
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien legendarily wrote one Oxford summer, while “laborious[ly]” grading papers for some always welcome side money. And both of us, he could have added, will be stinking rich someday.
Some might argue that day has arrived, now that An Unexpected Journey, director Peter Jackson’s first installment of The Hobbit‘s film trilogy, officially scored its inevitable cool billion worldwide. But “whether he gained anything in the end” — the famed philologist wrote in The Hobbit of middle-class slacker Bilbo Baggins, although he could have been speaking of himself, and us — is still up for debate.
Because the same greed war that’s gripped readers of The Hobbit since its unassuming publication in 1937 has gone viral outside of its postmodern canon. From An Unexpected Journey‘s talented filmmakers and canny copyrighters to the spiritually exhausted Tolkien estate, everyone’s fighting for Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium as if their economies counted on it. Because they do.
With apologies to Bob Marley and the Wailers, but I couldn’t resist. A Fierce Green Fire is an important enough chronicle of our indispensable environmental movement’s last century to merit a nod to the revolutionary spirit of the Wailers’ immortal Catch a Fire. Because it has taken green revolutionaries to awake us to both the science and sci-fi of the singular planet we call home. And we need way more of them.
What they will face when they crash headlong into a dystopian confluence of perpetual resource war and exponential climate change is the challenge of our new century. I spoke with A Fierce Green Fire‘s director Mark Kitchell, who’s Oscar-nominated Berkeley in the Sixties inspired me during Berkeley in the 90s. We published our mindmeld on the history and future of the environmental movement over at AlterNet, where the commenters are equally fierce. Light up!
This year, the Oscars weren’t considered an utter failure until the predictable chauvinism of host Seth MacFarlane played out, with the Obama administration’s public endorsement of Argo‘s propaganda serving as a worrisome chaser. But I called bullshit on it from the beginning, because climate change was a disturbing no-show, despite the fact that its exponential ravages continue to create a new existential normal much more dystopian than the last.
Plus, it’s not like there wasn’t anything to watch for the old white men who annually choose the Oscars. In a year when The Avengers‘ blew up the box office with a heroic rescue from apocalypse in Manhattan, director Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice featured a real iceberg the size of Manhattan (above) calving into the sea within an hour. Cue the fear track.
I chatted with Orlowski about that transformational apocalypse, climate change, the Oscars and much more. Then I fired off an anti-Oscars screed to the righteous enviros at Grist, who kindly signed me onto their green revolution.
Taking its number from the rotating oppressor of Patrick McGoohan’s immortal ’60s psy-fi TV series The Prisoner, multimedia collective thenewno2 is busy fleshing out its film bonafides. Lately with a swamptronic soundtrack for Hollywood’s newest gothsoap Beautiful Creatures, based on the supernatural young-adult novel series from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Thenewno2 hopes it’s what Bogart in Casablanca called “the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” perhaps leading to stranger sonic trips into cinema.
“I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe, so I’m really intrigued by some of the films they’re planning,” said thenewno2′s architect Dhani Harrison, son of the late, great George, after being asked about his dream soundtracking gig. “Especially Doctor Strange, who was always one of my favorites. He’s something of a multidimensional, mystical yogi, so I could really see myself soundtracking something like that. Now that Beautiful Creatures is done, we’re going to look at our options. Paul wants to do a proper horror film.”