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Rep. Paul Ryan Is A ‘Rage Against The Machine’ Fan, Tom Morello Is Not Amused
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The Book Slave   |  
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Tom Morello, Paul Ryan

Okay, so there’s this NY Times article about the life of U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R. – Wisconsin) in which it was noted with some irony that the hard-right conservative counts Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands.

The irony is not lost on former Rage guitarist, Tom Morello. In a Rolling Stone piece, Morello sounds off about Ryan and the many reasons why Rage Against the Machine is “antithetical to the message of Rage.”

...continue reading »
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Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine To Audience: ‘Obama Staged Aurora, Sikh Temple Shootings’
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The Book Slave   |  
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Dave Mustaine

During a recent Megadeth concert in Singapore, frontman Dave Mustaine went full tilt goo-goo for Satan when he asserted to a confused crowd that U.S. President Barack Obama staged the tragic shootings in both Aurora, Colorado and at The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. This, according to Mustaine, was so that the President could justify a ban on guns. In the video taken from the concert, which you can watch below, Mustaine expressly states that the President planned these murders.

“Back in my country, my President is trying to pass a gun ban so he’s staging all these murders like the Fast and Furious thing down at the border and Aurora, Colorado, and all the people who were killed there and now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple.”

Mustaine goes on to say that he doesn’t know where he’s going to live if “America keeps going the way it’s going,” stating the the country is “turning into Nazi America.” The crowd appears to disagree with Mustaine judging from the tone of its roar, which included a few boos. One audience member can even be heard shouting, “Hey, we love America!” Mustaine’s response to the crowd’s reaction: “Be quiet.”

So let’s dissect Mustaine’s claims with a few facts, lest anyone out there get the idea that these remarks are anything other than completely deranged.

...continue reading »
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The Evolution Of Batman In Popular Culture
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Hunter Camp   |  
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Batman in Popular Culture

Batman has become one of, if not the most well known characters in the history of American pop culture. He’s been dark, he’s been bright, and he’s even been an agent of propaganda, but one thing that has remained consistent is that people know who Batman is. With The Evolution of Batman in Popular Culture, my attempt is to take an extensive look at all the ways that Batman can be interpreted, why he’s remained a consistent force in popular culture, and how he becomes a reflection of society making him the most iconic superhero.

When Batman (Bat-Man) was created by Bill Finger and Robert Kane, he was initially created as an answer to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s iconic superhero of the lower class. And while Superman was given super powers and a fighting stance against corruption, Batman was a little darker. The creation of Batman came mainly from pulp novels, Zorro, and the 1926 horror film The Bat. Batman was a weird creature of the night that, initially, wasn’t afraid to kill and would do so if the criminal “deserved” it. In his creation, Batman is already a reflection of an era that is commonly described as being hopeful, yet disillusioned in the face of World War II, a time when almost everyone was on board with the Allied Powers in their war against the Evil Axis Powers. Society was cut and dry, good and bad, so a four-color look at a wealthy vigilante lent itself perfectly to the culture of the time.

Furthermore, this interpretation of The Batman was moved into the popular propaganda films shown during war times where Batman and Robin teamed up to fight on the home front while all the soldiers were defending America’s freedom. Sure, if you try to watch The Batman and the Batman and Robin serials, you’re going to lose your mind if you’re brain’s not stuck in a World War II mindset in which you’re pretty much sure that Japanese people are completely evil and should be punished for all their evil deeds. Yes, it’s completely ridiculous and completely wrong, but it is 100% an accurate portrayal of the United States’ attitude toward the world at the time. Another aspect of this that’s worth mentioning is that in most superhero stories, this was the interpretation. In fact, this was the interpretation of most movie serials during the time period, but for the sake of argument, even as an overweight “on-a-budget” looking Batman, the interpretation is valid and represents the time.

The next major incarnation of The Caped Crusader came with “The New Look” that accompanied the heralding in of The Silver Age of comics. Oddly enough, with sales of superhero comics tanking, the introduction of the Batman TV show came to our Earth and showed a completely different side of Batman. This Batman was campy, this Batman was fun, this Batman was kid friendly, and above all else, this Batman was psychedelic. If one thing is tied to the 1960s, whether accurately or not, it’s the free love, acid freak hippie nature of society at the time. This youth culture was high on life and many other things which made straight-laced stiffs, like Adam West’s portrayal of the Batman character, completely hilarious. While kids were loving the cartoony action of Batman, the elaborate death traps created by brilliantly acted villains like The Riddler, The Joker, King Tut, and Egg Head, adults saw the humor that laced every other moment outside of the square Adam West. The cast was in on the joke, the adults were in on the joke, the only ones that were left out were the kids. And quite honestly, as a kid who watched this show growing up, it was absolutely perfect. All of the elements that are over done and goofy to me as an adult, which I still adore, were exactly what my child-like mind thought a superhero TV show about Batman should be like. The goofy, post-Wertham nature of The Silver Age in comics, alongside the ironic attitude of the country allowed Batman to be one of the biggest pop culture icons of the pre-Vietnam 1960s. Most today would refuse to admit the importance of this era of Batman, but when you take a grander look at his history, Batman reflects society, and that exactly what happened with Batman ’66.

Following the escapades of Adam West’s Batman, the titular character was relegated mostly to cartoon shows with interactions between other Warner properties like Scooby-Doo. Sure there was the live-action special Legends of The Superheroes which showed a handful of DC heroes fighting DC villains, but for the most part, while Batman was being redefined in the comics throughout the 70s, Batman for better or worse became a cartoon character. He stayed in the minds of children and parents until the 1980s when Frank Miller got a hold of him. In Miller’s The Dark Knight, he redefined what a superhero comic book could do, and alongside Alan Moore’s Watchmen, he changed comic books forever. Miller, as a writer, creates stories with hardboiled toughs in an incredibly dark setting, and after this version of Batman was brought to the attention of the masses again for the first time since the 1940s/1950s, Batman was once again The Dark Knight. This next step in Batman’s evolution led to filmmaker Tim Burton‘s 1989 Batman.

Batman was the next big superhero movie after the Superman franchise took off and then ultimately fell off due to poor writing/directing/producing/lack of public interest. After the boom and economic hopefulness of the 1980s, we were met with the grunge era. The grunge era, as I’m calling it, accompanied musical acts like Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Pixies, and The Melvins, and was a sign of America’s youth caught up in a wave of disillusionment. Gone was the chrome horizon of the 1980s. What we were welcomed with, and on a path towards, was a somewhat dark era in which many felt ostracized and hopeless. It’s my opinion that 1989’s Batman helped usher in that time period, but either way, it’s hard to deny that Tim Burton’s cartoony gothic hero was not in part a reflection of that mood. When Batman hit theaters, fans saw a new Batman dressed all in black whose motivation once again became vengeance on the part of his parents’ murder. The gothic hero was an orphan on a grand scale, and considering the attitude of America’s teens at the time, people flocked to this interpretation. In fact, Batman stayed on track with Burton for quite some time, which included the debut of Batman: The Animated Series, which many young kids used as their first exposure to The Dark Knight and in the future, this series would become incredibly important, but we’ll get back to that in just a little bit when we discuss the modern era. This truly was a renaissance for The Batman.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: Super Corporate Heroes #1
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Zenestex   |  
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Super Corporate Heroes CoverSuper Corporate Heroes #1
Created by Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias
Written by Suzy Dias and Miguel Guerra
Art by Miguel Guerra
Letters by Suzy Dias
7 Robots
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99
Digital Edition: 99¢

With the Occupy protests coming out of hibernation on May Day and the election season swinging into high gear, the Super Corporate Heroes debut couldn’t have wished for better timing. This comic begins as a metaphor for the healthcare debates and quickly evolves into a satirical political commentary on the consequences of Social Darwinism.

The story kicks off with a man hanging on the ledge of a burning building. Through hokey inner dialogue, he wonders if he can survive the fall. But, thank goodness, help arrives in the form of The Shroud, who looks strikingly similar to Batman. Only The Shroud refuses to help the uninsured man until he purchases a rescue plan. They agree on the five rescue plan. By the end of the scene, the man is already fleeced out of three rescues.

...continue reading »
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GOP Seeks Headbanger For President; Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Answers The Call
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The Book Slave   |  
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Dave Mustaine announces presidential bid

Disgusted with the rich empty suits currently in the running, the Republican Party is now looking to the world of heavy metal for the right candidate to put up as leader of the free world. RNC Chairman Reinhold Reince Priebus was quoted today, April 1, 2012, as saying, “We like Ted Nugent because he’s into guns and stuff, but Dave Mustaine is really the perfect combination of extremist vitriol and worldwide appeal. I mean, Megadeth is really popular in other countries, so it’s like a no-brainer.”

The guitar-wielding wildly-maned Mustaine responded immediately to the call of duty by putting in his bid for election. “Well it’s about fucking time the world sees what greatness I have to offer it,” the Megadeth frontman said. “I mean, America would be so lucky to have me as President because I’m the only one who knows what the fuck is really going on around here.”

...continue reading »
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One Million Moms Protest Gay Marriage In Archie Comic
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The Book Slave   |  
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Life With Archie #16

In their latest attempt to banish all traces of gay from the planet, conservative group One Million Moms, one of the tumors sprouting from the larger cancer known as American Family Association, is urging Toys ‘R’ Us to stop selling an issue of Life With Archie depicting the wedding of the comic’s first openly gay character, Kevin Keller, to Clay, an African American doctor who treated Keller’s war injuries. Yes, you read that right: Kevin’s a war hero! And he’s marrying a doctor, no less! A million real moms would swoon in delight. So what’s the problem?

The problem, apparently, is that One Million Moms — whose numbers are about 955,488 shy of an actual million, according to their Facebook page — feels it’s unfair for them to have to answer questions their kids may ask about the world around them while standing in a toy store. Also, it doesn’t like gay people.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: Female Force: Gabrielle Giffords
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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GiffordsFemale Force: Gabrielle Giffords
Written by CW Cooke
Pencils by Nick Justus
Colors by C.J. Ruiz
Letters & Inks by Warren Montgomery
Cover by Joe Phillips
Bluewater Productions
Release date: January 31, 2012
Price: $3.99 (print); $1.99 (ebook)

The story of Gabrielle Giffords is one of triumph over adversity. On January 8, 2011, the Arizona Representative was shot in the head while giving a public speech in her home state. Though she survived the attack, Giffords faced many hurdles in her recovery and continues to face them even now.

Female Force: Gabrielle Giffords is a new 32-page full-color biographical comic book from Bluewater Productions that details the Congresswomen’s life from her many academic achievements, to her time as a business woman and state politician, and later as a member of Congress. We learn a little about her childhood and also about her relationship with husband, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. Of course, great attention is given to the shooting and Giffords’s subsequent efforts to recover from her extensive injuries.

...continue reading »
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Watch Seth & Amy Tackle The Birth Control Debate On SNL’s ‘Really?’
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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SNL

On last night’s Saturday Night Live former castmember Amy Poehler made a guest appearance on Weekend Update with Seth Meyers for a new segment of “Really!?! With Seth and Amy.” In this new edition, the comedians take on the current Birth Control debate raging in Congress.

Check out the video of the segment here below.

While the comedians make us laugh while also making perfect sense with everything they said regarding this hot button issue, it’s pretty much Poehler’s declaration “Don’t tell me what to do!” that says it all.

...continue reading »
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Election 2012: Darth Vader, Lord Voldemort Among The Candidates
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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election 2012

It’s a Presidential election year here in the United States, so the campaigns are underway. But in the geek world, which characters would be running for election this year?

Kevin David Anderson, author of Night Of The Living Trekkies, has posted some campaign adverts to Facebook that feature some really hot tickets so far:

– Darth Vader and Lord Voldemort
– George Takei and Bruce Campbell
– Cybermen and Borg

...continue reading »
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SOPA, PIPA Killed Off For Now Amidst Angry Protest; Is OPEN The Answer?
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Stop SOPA

After an ocean of angry protest, massive websites taking drastic measures, and even the artists they weren’t meant to protect standing against them, Congress has been forced to put an end to the proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piract Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP) acts.

Both the Senate, who was getting ready to hold a procedural vote on PIPA next week, and the House of Representatives have taken notice to the extremely negative response to their plans, and have decided to put it all on hold until something a little bit more agreeable can be put together.

...continue reading »
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