This Friday, October 8th, kicks off the 2010 New York Comic Con. I was hoping to be there, but plans have changed. That said, NYCC is a big, noisy, wonderful convention (not yet as big and noisy as San Diego and far more comic book-centric), so if you’re in the New York area, and you love comics, you owe it to yourself to go.
Friday the 8th is also the day my next episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold airs. This one features the Doom Patrol and I'm incredibly pleased with the way it turned out. A word of warning: The story skews a little darker than the average B & B episode. As they say: parental discretion is advised. You can catch the show on Cartoon Network, Friday night at 7 pm.
October 9th is John Lennon’s birthday—my one true rock and roll hero would have been seventy—and this seems like the perfect opportunity to post the second part of my “Meeting Lennon” story. (You can read part one here.) I can’t promise I’ll make it by Saturday, but I’m aiming to post the story within a week of the big day. If I blow that deadline, feel free to harass me about it.
I saw The Social Network over the weekend and thought it was terrific: a strong, smart script (by Aaron Sorkin), incredibly well-acted, surprisingly moving—and director David Fincher kept the whole thing moving like a shot. The reviews aren’t exaggerations: TSN really is one of the best films of the year. That said...
A number of critics—and the film makers themselves—have called the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook a modern-day Citizen Kane. Here’s the big difference I see: although Welles based elements of CK on the life of William Randolph Heart, he didn’t pretend to be presenting a factual account of Hearst’s life. And he certainly didn’t call his character W.R. Hearst. By giving us an account of Zuckerberg’s life that is presented as a work of rigorously-researched non-fiction—Sorkin, in particular, is promoting it this way, despite many people pointing out the gap between movie-reality and the true story—the whole thing feels just a little...creepy. Whatever the facts, this film will define Zuckerberg in the public mind for years to come. However much I enjoyed The Social Network, I think I would have preferred a film about Charles Foster Zuck.
My previous post about Kraven’s Last Hunt—and the Russian origins of Sergei Kravinov—brought a flurry of comments about my literary idol, Dostoyevsky, whose work inspired my interpretation of Kraven the Hunter. This, in turn, reminded me of a 1940’s radio adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment that I heard a few months back: a wonderful—if wildly-truncated—version of the story that appeared on a show called Mystery In The Air. It starred Peter Lorre (who also starred in the 1935 film version) and you can download it, for free (and, yes, it’s perfectly legal), right here.
The other day I got into an email discussion with a friend about the nature of time; specifically the idea, which I wholeheartedly subscribe to, that time isn’t linear. “All moments are simultaneous,” I wrote him. “Among other things, that means time-travel is more a problem of perception. No time machine needed, just the mind aimed at a different moment.” He, in turn, told me about an experiment done by a Harvard professor, Dr. Ellen Langer, that... Well, here, I’ll let the Boston Globe explain:
The study...took place in 1979 and was, in its way, a feat of canny stagecraft. In an old monastery in Peterborough, N.H., Langer and her students set up an elaborate time capsule of the world 20 years earlier, then sent two separate groups of men in their late 70s and early 80s to spend a week there. Each group spent the week immersed in the year 1959, discussing Castro’s advances in Cuba and the Colts’ victory in the NFL championship, listening to Perry Como and Nat King Cole, watching “North by Northwest” and “Some Like it Hot.” The only difference between the two groups was that one talked about the year in the present tense - they were pretending it was 1959 - and the other group referred to it in the past.
Before and after, the men in both groups were given a battery of cognitive and physical tests. What Langer found was that the men in both groups seemed to have reversed many of the declines associated with aging - they were stronger and more flexible, their memories and their performance on intelligence tests improved. But the men who had acted as if it really was 1959 had improved significantly more. By mentally living as younger men for a week, they seemed actually to have turned back the clock.
Time travel indeed. Something for all of us to think about and, if you’re inclined, discuss right here at Creation Point.
© copyright 2010 J.M. DeMatteis