Writing Report, July 7, 2016

by Buzz on 8/07/2016

Donald Duck reads what he wrote

I’m using Expresso, a nice little editing app you can use for free online, to digitally prep the manuscript for “The Most Dangerous Man In The World:  The Lost Classic G.I. Joe Episode” for re-writing / polish / final copyediting.

Expresso does not replace a human carefully going over a manuscript, but it speeds up the process by drawing attention to weak verbs, run on sentences, etc.  I’m a little less than halfway done with the preliminary pass of the manuscript thru Expresso; the free version can’t seem to handle more than 1,500 or so words without freezing up so I’m feeding the story thru two or three scenes at a time.

Expresso finds the most problems with my writing in the non-action scenes; it seems to like my action and combat writing just fine.

As with most writers I’ve got several projects going simultaneously, including a very dark barbarian fantasy which I mentioned previously.  I wrote a scene for it the other night which “works” insofar as it conveys the necessary information the story requires at that point but does so in a really awkward and way out of character manner for my protagonist.  Expect that to get severely re-written once I finish the handwritten first draft.

The cartoon above pretty much sums up my feelings once I finished writing the scene.

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GMO Crops / GMO Crap

by Buzz on 5/07/2016

GMO smoking-medical-camels-chesterfieldGMO smoking-babys-drs

There’s a lot of pressure to quiet criticism of GMO crops and the companies (Monsanto, front and center, but others as well) that promote them.

Typically the protests against GMO are depicted as being on par with Luddites or anti-vaxxers.

While you can find some folks who oppose unlabeled GMO in our food supply for purely bogus sci-fi horror movie reasons, the truth is the bulk of objections are pretty sound, and the more the GMO producers try to silence the objections, the louder they have to become.

And we’re excluding criticism of merely the business side of GMO crops — the producers’ exclusive claim to all seeds, their usurious leasing rates for new seed crops, etc.  That’s awful and well worth hammering them about, but it would be the same for any business using similar high pressure tactics against customers.

No, the problem is this:
History has shown that industry is fully capable of selling dangerous and defective products to customers, and not merely products that later prove themselves to be dangerous, such as thalidomide, but products they already know to be dangerous.

Such as tobacco.

Such as cars with vulnerable fuel tanks.

Such as hot coffee capable of producing 3rd degree burns.

Industry has repeatedly demonstrated even when regulatory agencies were fully authorized and funded that they knowingly hide damaging information from public, scientific, and governmental review, all so their stock holders could make more money.

So when the GMO producers want to hide the fact that some of our food supply contains GMO produce despite the fact they have well established procedures and mechanisms in place to track such crops so that they can bill farmers, then we see red flags being waved everywhere.

Something is not right in this picture,
and it isn’t the fact people are
ill-informed on GMO crops.

What the GMO producers are saying when they demand there be no labels on GMO crops is that their right to make money supersedes their customers’ right to make informed purchases for any reason.

Maybe you don’t like the taste of something.

Maybe the color or the texture doesn’t appeal to you.

Maybe you want to buy only from local farmers.

Maybe whether it’s organic or GMO, you still say it’s spinach and you still say to hell with it.

The fact is that you the consumer have every right in the world to make a purchase based on your own personal choices, and no one has the right to trick you into buying something you do not wish to purchase.

If the GMO producers were 100% certain there were no long term health risks to GMO crops, why would they be opposed to GMO crops being labeled as such?

Okay, say a certain percentage of the “free market” opposes them and won’t buy foodstuffs with GMO ingredients.

So what?

The people who do purchase GMO crops will be buying better quality (it will be better, won’t it?) and cheaper priced (it will be cheaper, right?) food than their neighbors who don’t.

After 10 – 20 – 30 years with no health problems, pretty much everybody on the planet comes around to the fact that GMOs pose no health risk and everybody except for the real health food fanatics are buying them.

I mean, it’s not like they won’t make
money between now and then, right?

And the patents will run for gawdawful long periods of time, so they’ll still be reaping the benefits — literally and financially — of GMO crops a century from now.

Why don’t they want us to know if there are GMO crops in our food supply?

See, our thinking goes like this: 
In many cases GMO crops are designed to withstand lavish amounts of pesticides and herbicides, significantly higher than the current acceptable levels. We know the pesticides and herbicides are relatively harmless over a human lifetime at their current dosage; we don’t know if multiplying those doses by a factor of two or four or eight times is going to have long term health problems.

We know what Agent Orange did to people with even mere passing exposure to it so you can’t say our concerns are groundless.

What we wonder is if the GMO producers, like the tobacco companies, do not want a paper trail pointing back to it in the event there proves to be a long term health problem in the future. To us, that indicates they are not 100% convinced increased pesticide / herbicide use will be harmless, even though said pesticides / herbicides are supposed to break down in nature and be rendered harmless before the crops enter the human food supply.

It also makes us wonder how well our ecosystem will react to massive extra doses of supposedly harmless compounds entering our water tables, our soil, and our oceans.  This is not a groundless fear!  We’ve seen the damage fertilizers can do to once pristine fresh water supplies in Florida and other places, not to mention laundry detergents.

What the GMO producers want is this:

  1. To use deception to force us to buy products we have no trust in
  2. To hide the trail leading back to them if anything goes wrong

Sorry, no.

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The Words Of The Prophets…

by Buzz on 3/07/2016

…are written on the subway walls
and tenement hallsWotP 14 David Foster Wallace

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Branded

by Buzz on 1/07/2016

Adam-Troy Castro recently kicked off an interesting discussion regarding the connect / disconnect between artists and their works.

It’s an ancient debate:
How much of the artist’s personal behavior impacts the quality of the art?
How good does art have to be to justify being enjoyed separate from knowledge of the artist?

There are a lot of artists out there with truly shitty behavior. Not just cranky / snarky / hit-the-bottle-too-much behavior but murder, betrayal, treason, bigotry, genocide, etc., etc., and of course, etc.

And there’s no one-size-fits-all pat answer. You tell me Jerry Lee Lewis[1] acts like a loon, married an underage teen cousin, knocks back pills and booze like nobody’s business, discharges firearms recklessly, says stupid and outrageous things, well…yeah…that’s what he does.

You listen to his music, you’re listening to the work of a madman.   You’re not shocked that his kind of music comes from that kind of person.

That’s his brand.

And, yeah, I know a lot of people roll their eyes at the term “brand” thinking it’s just Madison Avenue jargon but there is validity to the concept. Your “brand” is how the public perceives you; it’s different from a reputation which is a personal evaluation about you. A lot of people with crazy balls-to-the-walls brands have reputations as trustworthy individuals because behind their brand they are professionals who honor commitments and show up on time and do what they promise. You can trash a lot of hotel rooms if they know you’ll make the show the next night.

When Jerry Lee’s first cousin televangelist Jimmy Lee Swaggert gets caught again and again consorting with prostitutes, well, Jimmy takes a hit while Jerry gets a pass.

Jimmy’s brand was undermined by his personal behavior.

Now, none of this is to excuse bad behavior, but if you’re planning a career for yourself, plan one with the largest sandbox to play in. Fred Rogers had a long and honorable career because he never deviated from the Mr. Rogers brand; he was happy inside that particular sandbox and it served him well.

But if you decide to get in a Mr. Rogers-size sandbox, you can’t suddenly hop out and run over to the Jerry Lee Lewis sandbox to play.[2]

If you want to play in both boxes you can, but you have to establish yourself in advance as the sort of person who can play in both boxes.

Bill Cosby and Woody Allen have specifically built careers on either being staunch moralists or in asking probing questions about morality. By the very nature of their subject matter, their work and their lives were inextricably intertwined. Egregious bad behavior raises legitimate questions about how valid their observations are.

In Cosby’s case, an apparent long career as a serial rapist draws into question the legitimacy of all the morality expressed in the Fat Albert and Cosby Show episodes; those programs often take on a creepy tone now in their new context. In Allen’s case, having neither the self-restraint nor the common sense to avoid entering into a relationship that was certain to have a devastating impact on many peoples’ lives makes one wonder if Allen ever really meant anything he said in his films, or if it was all posturing to suck in a specific type of audience.

To Allen’s partial defense, he repeatedly warned people he was not the person he appeared to be, that he harbored deep and vile secret thoughts, and that he was capable of terrible behavior. The problem was those things were always said in the context of a self-depreciating interview in which Allen joked about other aspects of his life: His audience did not take his statements seriously.

It’s like having a friend come over to your house and jokingly say, “Lock up your silverware because otherwise I’ll steal it” and you laugh and have a good time while they’re visiting and the moment they’re gone you realize your silverware is missing.

“Well, I told you I was going to steal it!”

Yes, but not in a way that anyone truly believed.

There are writers — Charles Bukowski or Jack Kerouac or William S. Burroughs — who are far more open and honest than Allen ever was with their personal lives. We can appreciate the beatific words from their typewriters because they have acknowledged their sins and shortcomings and have said their work is an attempt to reconcile their demons with their angelic longings.[3]

It’s not a new phenomenon. Google Lewis Carroll or Charles Dickens and scope out their pretty egregious bad behavior. In both cases it was widely known at the time, but never brought to the public’s attention in a manner that affected their sales (though for Carroll it ultimately cost him much socially).

They needed that social hypocrisy in order to present a brand for one thing while indulging in behavior that completely undercut what they became publicly associated with.

In Dickens’ case, what he wrote is now seen as a window into the past, not necessarily as something with exact applications today. In Carroll’s case, as too often the case for other fairy tales as well, what he wrote has been whitewashed and divorced from its original purpose and context.

Conversely, Mary Wollstonecraft used her notoriety to gain an audience for Frankenstein and her other works, including her political writings.

Ironically, that gave her freedom she probably wouldn’t have found had she not been associated with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron[4].

Back to the question at hand:
When and how to judge the work in relation to the artist?

Again, no easy answers. There are times and circumstances when many crimes can be forgiven in the light of one transcendent moment, there are others when an entire oeuvre should be cast aside.

Ultimately, we have to judge our decisions on what to keep or discard by what we are.

a warning from Wm S BUrroughs

[1] Holy #%@$! That fncker’s 80 years old and still touring!!! Geeze, with six sets of alimony payments I guess he has to.

[2] That blade cuts both ways. If you wrote speeches for Ku Klux Klan leaders and other white supremacists and do not have a public come-to-Jesus moment where you denounce your past, don’t expect the book you write about Native American spirituality under a Native American pen name to stay on anyone’s must-read list no matter how good the contents may be viz The Education Of Little Tree. Likewise if you claim to have a tragic past as a hard-scrabble street thug and dope addict but turned yourself around, then you better have a rap sheet to back it up, viz A Million Little Pieces.

[3] Burroughs in particular. Long before he burst into mainstream attention, he was one of many early beats who led a reckless bohemian lifestyle. He killed his wife Joan Vollmer, herself a young poet in the beat movement of the early 1950s, in a drunken William Tell game at a party; she put a cup on her head for him to pick off with a pistol shot and he blew her brains out. That the horror and guilt and self-loathing at what he had done forever changed him and ultimately set him on his path as a writer is a valid observation, nonetheless Vollmer’s death is too often treated as a footnote to his success and not a monumental tragedy in her own right.

[4] It’s not always bad behavior that undercuts one’s brand. Too many clowns die tragic deaths, Robin Williams being among the most recent. For him a lifetime of severe depression was held at bay by the brand of a zany comedian; after establishing himself with that brand he expanded on it (but never truly left it) by veering off into comedy drama, then drama with humor, and finally straight drama. We can look back now and see the arc of his illness in how his brand shifted and expanded. Because he successfully expanded his brand towards the end, Williams will live on in the public memory a lot longer than others who just presented their manic side to the world until their demons caught up with them. Williams is tragic, they’re just sad.

 

 

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Bruce Springsteen On Passion In Creativity

by Buzz on 30/06/2016

bruce sprinstein on passion

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Why So Angry, Buzzy-boy?

by Buzz on 28/06/2016

I’ve had people ask me why I get so angry over certain kinds of posts.

It’s because I’m not stupid, I know how to readI know my history.

You say: “Syrian”
I hear: “Italian”

You say: “Muslim”
I hear: “Catholic”

You say:
“We shouldn’t let those Middle Eastern Muslims into this country. Their cultural values are too different from ours, they’ll never assimilate. Anyway, they owe their allegiance to Islam, not America. They want to impose Islamic laws and religion on us. They’re nothing but a murderous bunch of gang-raping violent terrorist thugs; if they aren’t full fledged members of ISIS then they’re supporting them and they won’t tell the police about Al-Q’aeda activity. Their culture hates women and exploits children. What have they ever contributed to the world except crime and bloodshed? Send ‘em all back where they came from!”

I hear:
We shouldn’t let those Italian Catholics into this country. Their cultural values are too different from ours, they’ll never assimilate. Anyway, they owe their allegiance to the Catholic church, not America. They want to impose Catholic laws and religion on us. They’re nothing but a murderous bunch of gang-raping violent terrorist thugs; if they aren’t full fledged members of the Mafia they’re supporting them and they won’t tell the police about Mafia activity. Their culture hates women and exploits children. What have they ever contributed to the world except crime and bloodshed? Send ‘em all back where they came from!

Think I’m exaggerating?

anti Italian cartoon 3

Read

anti Italian cartoon Ganges1876

‘Em

anti Italian cartoon 1

And

anti Italian Demons+loose+in+New+Orleans

Weep

To this day prejudice exists against Italians, not necessarily the vile bigotry of the late 19th and early 20th century, but prejudice nonetheless

Who are the most famous Italians in America?

The Corleones and the Sopranos.

anti Italian Mr._Big_Render

When Americans think of Italians, they usually think of the mob, the Black Hand, “the La Cosa Nostra”*, not the scientists and the scholars and the explorers and the engineers and the artists and the composers and the musicians and the poets and the writers and the film makers.

“The mass media has consistently ignored five centuries of Italian American history, and has elevated what was never more than a minute subculture to the dominant Italian American culture.” — “Hollywood vs Italians”, The Italic Way, a publication of The Italic Institute of America, Vol XXVII, 1997

Wow! Does that sound familiar?!?!?

So, yeah, I get a little short tempered when I hear somebody ranting and raving against “them” because what I hear instead of “them” is “your mother” or “your grandchildren” or “your cousins” or “your wife”.

I can’t be around my family 24/7 to protect them. All I can do is be willing to stand up for others who are the targets of bigotry and defend them against hatred and ignorance when I see it. It would be great if those whom we defend would then in turn defend us and ours when we are threatened, but truth be told, we don’t really need that kind of quid pro quo.

It’s enough that some ignoramuses spreading the hate start to look over their shoulder, wondering if they’re going to get called out for posting unverified nonsense.

If all I can do is make those people have second thoughts before posting — at the very least making sure they have their facts straight before sharing a hate bomb — then I’ve helped turn back the dial on hatred and prejudice just a smidge.

If that’s all I can do,
that’s all I can do.

But I’ll do it.

I know who my friends are.

And I know who my enemies are.

anti Italian cartoon 6

* Literally “The The Our Thing” to use the terminology of ignorant anti-Italian-American bigots who heard criminals euphemistically refer to “this thing of ours” when discussing gang activities and assumed “cosa [thing] nostra [ours]” was a proper name.

 

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The Elephants’ Graveyard

by Buzz on 27/06/2016

save for 2016

I’m coming around to the thought that Donald Trump is an outlier so unexpected, so grandiose that he will — official party nominee or not — have the effect of a wrecking ball on the GOP’s national political brand.

They will not vanish immediately at the end of this election cycle — like the Dixiecrats they’ll probably hang on for another decade or so — but they have lost all external credibility and too much internal support.

Every political party, to enjoy long term success, needs several things:
Rank and file volunteers who ring the doorbells and hand out the flyers, donors up and down the economic spectrum, a leadership coterie that not only crafts long terms strategies and goals but can also step in and stop any brushfires before they engulf the party.

For a party to succeed, there must be some cohesive unity from the top down, the bottom up, and the middle out. When one set of outliers obtains dominance, it is not good for the party as a whole.

Hedrick Smith has done an excellent job tracking down the ever increasing influence of big business in this country, and their willingness to aid, abet, and encourage bigotry of all stripes so long as it meant more money for them. Check out his timeline on Who Stole The American Dream and see how the damage was done.

Where once political parties were supported by donations up and down the financial spectrum, now through conservative Supreme Court rulings by conservative Supreme Court justices appointed by conservative presidents, big money has pretty much taken over both parties.

The Democrats, for all their sins and shortcomings, are still able to say to their big donors, “Whoa, if you want that, you’ve got to do something for the common citizens.”

It may not be enough,
but at least it’s something.

The Republicans, however, have degenerated into nothing but a mouthpiece for the ultra-rich and multi-national corporations. The big donors funded the original “Tea Bag Party” (until Google embarrassingly showed them what “tea bagging” was all about, leading to their name change); any ground root organizations that sprang up at that time were quickly subsumed by the big donor led organizations.

And while the original tea bag partiers might have represented a variety of ethnic and religious groups, it very quickly became dominated by white Christians, and far too many of those were outright bigots.

The Southern strategy of Richard Milhous Nixon runs in a straight line from the anti-integration Dixiecrats of the late 1940s through him to Ronald Reagan and up to the post-Bush / anti-Obama opportunists we see today.

I know people who identified with the tea partiers nee tea baggers in early 2008 and they got upset when the tea party was identified as the party of white racists because, as they were quick to point out, they weren’t white and / or they weren’t racists.

And they weren’t…but they belonged to a group that had no qualms about accepting large numbers of white bigots into its ranks and supporting candidates who espoused white racist talking points.

Lie down with pigs,
get up smelling
like pig shit.

Most of those people, while still holding to conservative positions, now no longer identify with the tea partiers.

That should be held to their credit.

The problem is, that by enabling big money donors easy access, the GOP leadership not only turned a blind eye to the racist dog whistles the tea partiers sent out but on many occasions puckered up and blew along with them.

As long as their corporate donors were happy, the GOP was happy. And as long as the big money donors got to keep more money and pay less in wages and taxes, they were happy. As long as the rank and file had commie symp pinko rainbow feminazi social justice warrior liberals to hate, they were happy.

Funny thing:
The rank and file slowly began awakening to the fact that they were rapidly losing ground in modern America. Their wages and salaries stagnated, their pensions were looted, their homes were devalued in real estate bubbles.

The persons responsible are easy to locate, but neither party is eager to pursue them in the name of justice because, hey, donations…

But the divide springing up in the country was growing just as fast within the GOP itself.

And when Donald Trump, outlier extraordinaire, showed up and told the rank and file GOP the most fantastical lies that he was absolutely incapable of delivering on, well, what did they have to lose?

And the party splintered.

Right now the GOP is divided into two groups:
Those who are leaving and those riding the jettisoned anchor all the way to the bottom.

Those who are leaving cover a spectrum of people from those conservatives with personal integrity to career opportunists who have enough sense not to kill the goose laying the golden eggs.

Those staying are, to be perfectly frank, quite often bigots or else are willing to carry the water of bigots to advance their personal fortunes.

There is probably no walking the party back from this precipice. Those of foresight and integrity are no longer welcomed by the rank and file. The big donors now realize there is no upside to supporting the current GOP and are withholding their contributions.

The party has fractured:
Angry, mostly old white people; rational moderates and center-leaning-right professionals; big money donors unwilling to throw away money on a suicide mission.

It does not promise to be a happy election cycle for the GOP, and unless Trump implodes in a manner so spectacular and so shameful that even his most ardent supporters realize they were foolish to have ever believed anything he ever said, there appears to be no place for the GOP to go except down and out.

That is not the same thing as saying conservatism is over and done with as a political philosophy in this country.

Quite the contrary, there’s a rich opportunity opening up for moderate and leaning-slightly-right ex-Republicans to link up with dissatisfied conservatives and moderate-leaning-left-of-center Democrats to form a new party, hopefully one where they’ve learned the lessons of the Nixon-Reagan errors eras and offer platforms and candidates more representative of the nation as a whole than merely the 1%.

What will happen over the next decade? Well, with the standard caveat of “nobody knows for sure”, here is a scenario that I think is at least plausible:

  1. Trump destroys the GOP as a national party in 2016. The party becomes permanently tainted in the eyes of minority and independent voters. Trump blames his loss, at least in part, on lack of support by party establishment and big donors, thus further cementing the divide between rank and file and GOP leadership.
  2. The Libertarians benefit in the short run, having their best national showing ever though coming nowhere near close to winning the White House. All the GOP protest votes will go to the Libertarians, all the Democratic protest votes will go to the Green Party. Neither Libertarians nor Green Party are in a good field position to capitalize on that; they are perceived as too tightly focused for local races. If the Libertarians can figure out how to compromise without appearing to sell out, they might be able to start winning more local races and thus move into legitimate national party status. Ideological purity comes at a terrible cost (just ask the GOP).
  3. Rational Republicans, driven from their party, reach out to moderate Democrats and form a new party. Assuming they can flip non-tea party GOP officials in state and congressional posts, they can start with a power base already in place and not have to build one from scratch. The big money gravitates in this direction, especially as this new party aggressively woos moderate minority and millennial voters with a more inclusive pitch.
  4. The Democrats dominate politics for the next couple of decades much the same way conservative Republicans dominated politics from 1968 to 2008. By the time they wear out their welcome and have their turn being on the political outs, most of the policies established in the Reagan era will have been rescinded and reversed. The new moderate-leaning-conservative party will gain traction through fiscal responsibility, not ideological purity.
  5. What is left of the GOP staggers on for a few years, perhaps a decade or so, much like the Dixiecrats of old (and, truth be told, that’s who a vast number of the Trump supporters really are: Rebranded Dixiecrats). 2016 marks the official end of their viability as a national party (though historians may cite 2008 as the actual end); if they continue to exist and wield power it is on a state-by-state basis, not as a cohesive / coherent national party. More likely by 2028 they are reduced to a post office box number relying on octogenarians and older voters to donate whatever they can off of their meager Social Security, and by 2040 death, dementia, destitution, and decrepitude have claimed all of their base.

 

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One More River To Cross…

by Buzz on 26/06/2016

At 10pm on the nose last night, the first draft of my G.I. Joe Kindle Worlds’ novel “The Most Dangerous Man In The World” was completed.

=Whew!=

The book has been a long time a-gestatin’, and even though I have a re-write and polish yet to go, it’s now in the close-to-being-done stage.

After I do a quick spelling & grammar check on it, it will lay fallow for a few weeks.  During that time I will get “The Rustlers Of Rimrock” ready for release.

“Poor Banished Children Of Eve”, my World War Two-era “Lord Of The Flies” with Catholic school girls story, has been ready to go for some time.  As soon as “The Rustlers Of Rimrock” is ready to go online, then “Poor Banished Children Of Eve” will go up and I’ll start the polish on “The Most Dangerous Man In The World”.

That book will go up next, followed by “The Rustlers Of Rimrock”.

What have I got on deck past that?

Quite a lot, actually.

The next book is going to be a big massive multi-character farce based on a real life incident.  I want to do some “Serenity” stories (my “Serenity”, not Joss Whedon’s).  I’ve got three novels in stall-mode that can be restarted, some older books that may be printable after another re-write, then six or eight new novels waiting their turn in the hopper.

And that’s not counting the various
short stories I currently have in circulation,
or a couple of side projects I’m involved with.

“The Most Dangerous Man In The World” took so long to write because I’ve been out of the Joe-universe for quite some time; I had to research all the characters and vehicles to make sure I got them correctly.

If I’m asking Joe fans to buy my book, the least I can do is to make it as consistent as possible.

Right now, I have to go clean a comforter our cat barfed on.

Ah, me, the thrill a minute life of the literary set…

Charles Bukowski I write as a function

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The Words Of The Prophets…

by Buzz on 26/06/2016

…are written on the subway walls
and tenement halls

WotP Elijah Muhammed

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Compare And Contrast: New VOLTRON vs RWBY

by Buzz on 23/06/2016

This is gonna be a short one because despite many people lauding the new Voltron series on Netflix, I just couldn’t get into it.

Five minutes in and my interest failed to engage. Technically proficient, good character and mecha design, but man, the dialog and plotting were just gears slipping. Not a fresh idea in the bunch and all hammered home with sledgehammer intensity.

CnC VvR voltron3

I watched the first two scenes, skipped ahead about 20 minutes, watched some more, tried the opening of the next episode, said fuggedaboutit.

Not saying it’s bad, not saying you can’t enjoy it.
Just saying for me it failed to grab my attention.

Conversely, RWBY sparked my interest immediately despite a lengthy deadly dull narrated opening and clearly derivative anime tropes.

Perhaps that’s why it attracted my attention:
When you start a faux-anime story with rip-offs homages of Alex and his droogs raiding what looks like a candy or bubble bath shop, well, you’ve got my attention enough to want to see what happens next.

And when one of the pseudo-droogs points his sword a young female customer in a red riding hood and she looks at him innocently and asks, “Are you threatening me?” we all know what’s going to happen next, the question is how well and with how much panache?

And sunnuvagun, they pull it off. Frankly the video-game quality animation is far from perfect, but the character designs are fun and the character interactions and dialog keep the more familiar parts of the show from working against it.

CnC VvR 4 RWBY

RWBY is available online but Netflix has edited all of the first season into a single feature length story. It’s episodic but fast moving.

Comparing the two shows — even as briefly as I did with Voltron — sparked some critical thinking regarding media for kids then and now, and what quality of writing is to be found among them.

And to do that I’m going to need to invoke Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, and John Wayne…but that will require another post.

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