Voyou Désœuvré

A little while back, Warren Ellis wrote an appropriately sharp post describing the Technological Singularity as “the last trench of the religious impulse in the technocratic community.” The post is worth reading for its own sake, but it’s also fun to read the hilariously pissy trackbacks from members of the singularitarian community. Belief in the singularity, part of the belief system called extropianism and/or transhumanism, is a strange thing; it’s probably best to understand it as one of America’s quaint 19th century excentricities, like libertarianism or private health care. Read more↴

Amazing Spider-Man #534, p. 14 Courtesy of the Internet, I’ve been reading Marvel’s recent comics “event” Civil War. Like all such comics crossovers, it’s largely an excuse to have superheroes get into fights with one another. What makes it actually rather enjoyable, though, is that the excuse in this case is a thinly-veiled version of the US government’s response to 9/11. There’s something fun about seeing superheroes beating each other up while attempting to debate the war on terror in old-school Marvel dialog. Mildly dumb though this is, it’s also extraordinarily charming in its ambition. For any form of popular entertainment these days to escape the solipsism of “postmodern” nostalgia is encouraging, and it’s particularly unexpected in superhero comics, a genre which appears to have been getting progressively more hermetically self-absorbed for the past 20 years.

Holy shit. I’ve just read Civil War: Frontline #4 , which features pictures from the current storyline overlaid with text about the Vietnam War, and explicitly draws parallels between the superhero “resistance” in the story and the NLF. The hubris is inspiring. Read more↴