Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts

Friday, November 29, 2019

Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, and Ayn Rand


Steve Ditko is Johnstown, PAs most famous author and illustrator.  He co-created Spider Man with Stan Lee in the 1950s.  I admit I had never heard of him until I started my book.  According to his Wikipedia page he was born here in 1927 and died in 2018 in New York City at age 90 which was a few months before Stan Lee passed away.

His page says that he split with Lee in the 1960s and did not speak to him for years.  Ditko seldom did interviews but his page says he was influenced by Ayn Rand's objectivist ideas which he expressed in his comic Dr. A.  She was interviewed by Phil Donahue in 1979.



It seems to me that Spiderman is at odds with Ayn Rand's objectivism.  I confess I'm not an avid reader of Spider-Man but in the movie with Tobey Maguire, Peter Parker (Spider-Man's alter ego) is told that "with great power comes great responsibility" by his uncle.  Spider-man becomes very altruistic leaving a note after his escapades saying "from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man."  

I don't know Stan Lee's philosophy but many of his other comic book heroes could be thought of as altruistic.  I never read Mr. A but Ditko's page says he embodies Rand's philosophy.  Is Ayn Rand the reason Ditko and Lee parted ways?  Neither of them really ever said or ever will.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

A Look at My Blogosphere


Three weeks ago a member of a wrtiers group on Facebook posted this image asking "Who (in this group) is a blogger?"  The post received over 630 comments with 206 unique blogs listed.  I thought I would take a look at the blogs listed to see what kind of platforms that they used (Wordpress vs. Blogger) and what types of topics that they covered.  I also added the 24 blogs on my blogroll (on the right of this page) for a comparison.  I know this sample only scratches the surface of the blogosphere and is not representative of it but it is representative of what I see on the web.  You can see the sample of blogs and the topics I used to categorize them and can view them yourself here.


Host
Number
%
Wordpress
97
42.2
Other
79
34.3
Blogger
39
17.0
Wix
7
3.0
Facebook
2
0.9
Medium
2
0.9
Squarespace
2
0.9
Tumblr
2
0.9
Total
230
100.0
Margin of Error
6.8

I expected Wordpress to be the most popular host forI the sample of blogs and it was as can be seen in the table above with 42.2% listing it as the host.  The second most popular domain was "other" which included blogs with no host listed or with obscure hosts.  Blogger (which hosts this site) was a distant third at 17.7%.  This survey has a 6.8% margin of error.


Topic
Number
% of blogs
Author
51
22.2
Writing
46
20.0
Fiction
25
10.9
Travel
20
8.7
Politics
14
6.1
Poetry
14
6.1
Psychology
12
5.2
Business
11
4.8
Religion
10
4.3
Personal
10
4.3

I looked at each blog to determine which topic it covers and what it's general orientation is.  Some blogs were hard to categorize so I gave it the most generic term "Writing."  Aren't all blogs about writing you say?  These are blogs that (sort of like this one) goes from topic to topic wherever the author wants to go.  This was the second most common topic at 20 percent.  The ten most popular topics 

The most popular topic/orientation was Author at 22.2%.  This refers to bloggers who use their sites to promote their books.  The third most common topic was fiction at 10.9%.  These topics shouldn't be surprising given that they were sampled from a Facebook group for writers.  There was a wide variety of blogs that were easier to categorize with 84 other categories found.  One blog in this survey could have up to four categories.

It was very time consuming to survey each blog.  It took two weeks to put this simple analysis together.  I say this just to give you an idea of the difficult work of putting these analyses together.  If I missed anything please let me know.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Game of Growing Up and Outgrowing Fantasy



I have been tied up with other writing assignments to post on this blog lately.  I saw this video on Facebook from Real Time with Bill Maher where he criticizes comic book fans and thought I should comment. I posted it on my Facebook and got one negative comment and one positive one.  The negative one said "The ironic part is that in a 100 years people will likely remember Stan Lee and others like George Lucas. But will not remember Bill what's his name. Bill M. has been and always will be jealous and condescending of things that are more relevant to others then he will ever be to them. I honestly don't know how he even stays on the air."  I responded by saying that "...thanks for your input. Will Rogers is still remembered last I checked.To which he replied "As he should. Along with Mr. Rogers."  

The positive comment was "Thanks Paul. The same childish culture elected DT.Well I don't know what percent of Stan Lee fans voted for DT (which I assume means Donald Trump).  I know at least a few of them didn't.  

I also notice that Maher criticized Marvel Comic movies like X-Men, Iron Man, and Black Panther. At the same time he did not criticize Game of Thrones which his own network (HBO) makes a lot of money off of from many of the same Stan Lee fans.  


Anthony Hopkins (the mad scientist who designed the park), and robots James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld
Westworld, HBO's other science fiction series, makes a point about how the division between fantasy and reality is becoming increasingly blurred.  It's about an western amusement park with lifelike western robots where guests can act out their wild west fantasies (however raunchy).  Later the robots all go berserk.

Science Fiction/Fantasy can be a way of shedding light on the modern world.  It can also be an escape from it.  I know several people who have or will be writing their own Sci Fi books.  The online poll for The Great American Read has, I am sure, received more votes than my Best Non-Fiction book poll.  I has received one vote since my last update.  Three of the top five vote recipients in the fiction poll were the SciFi/Fantasy books Outlander, The Game of Thrones, and The Lord of the Rings.  

I know the vast majority of Comic Con fans can distinguish between fantasy and reality.  There is the tiny minority who can't such as the man in Aurora, Colorado who shot up a movie theater during the showing of a Batman movie while dressed as the Joker.  It's not that different from John Hinckley being inspired by the movie Taxi Driver and the novel Catcher in the Rye.  The phenomenon is also similar to how millions of evangelical Christians give their money to televangelists in hope of finding spiritual or physical healing. 

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Figli della Madre Terra (The Children of Mother Earth)

Buon Natale a tutti.  My cousin from Italy, Lorenzo Serpente (pictured below in the Clayfox  and Spider man shirt) has written a book called I Figli della Madre Terra or The Children of Mother Earth.  It is a science fiction/fantasy/coming of age story of a boy growing up in a prehistoric tribe.  In January there will be an English version of the story available on Amazon.  I have met several authors who have published books.  A few are listed below with links to their amazon pages.


Lorenzo ora (Lorenzo Now)
Merry Christmas to all.  Il Mio cugino d'Italia, Lorenzo Serpente (nella camicia "Clayfox" sotto) ha scritto un Libro I Figli della Madre Terra) una storia di un ragazzo alla prima della storia in un tribu`.  Si puo` comprare il Libro al Amazon.  Conosco molti auroti chi fanno libri.  Tre di quelle altri autori sono sotto in questo posto con un link al Amazon.

Lorenzo quando ho incontrato lui

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