Let’s Talk Lex

Okay, DC/WB.? Now that we’ve solved the Wonder Woman problem, and you’ve decided to do Batman versus Superman (and after reading this recent recap on io9 of the worst World’s Finest stories, I’ll be disappointed if there isn’t a caveman in there somewhere), and you’ve got Ben Affleck signed up as Batman for the next 20 years (Hi Ben! Love your work! Cautiously optimistic!), let’s talk about Lex Luthor.

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Hey, DC/WB, I went ahead and solved your Wonder Woman problem for you…

With the (admittedly mixed) success of Man Of Steel, Warner Brothers plans to forge ahead with a DC Cinematic Universe to compete with…well, the competition.? They’ve been discussing for a year now their plans to put together a Justice League movie.? But would Henry Cavill’s Superman be part of that?? Would the Nolan Batman movies integrate with that universe?? How about Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern?? Which other members would join?

It now seems that Nolan’s Batman movies are to be stand-alone, although Cavill’s Superman certainly seems to be a piece of the puzzle.? And considering Nolan’s influence on Man of Steel, no doubt the new Batman won’t be too far off from Bale’s.? And I think WB would rather pretend that Green Lantern never happened.

The new DC films are about bringing realism to superheros.? Nolan took a lot of the “mystical” parts of the Batman mythos (Lazarus pits, anyone?) and came up with real world explanations for them.? Man of Steel is about a more realistic take on Superman/Clark Kent, and how people would really act when presented with outrageous scenarios.? So what to do about the third part of the Trinity?

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When I received word that Here Come The Mummies’ new album, Cryptic, was available for pre-order, I quickly hopped over to their website to get mine, even though I’d been less enthusiastic about their previous two efforts than the earlier work that had grabbed me so quickly.? Even though the CD wouldn’t be out for a couple of weeks, pre-ordering entitled you to an immediate download.? I dropped the files on a USB drive to play in the car.

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My favorite band

You know the song “Dirty Minds”.? You’ve heard it many times, in the soundtrack of your favorite TV shows or movies, almost always in the context of two characters who suddenly grapple madly and passionately with each other, clearing furniture and sending knick-knacks flying.? It’s a compulsively catchy tune.

As is so often the case for me, a song I heard on television caught my ear and I had to track it down.? It took some hunting but in 2006 I finally found the artist.? Unfortunately, it did not appear that “Dirty Minds” had ever been released as a single, but I found a third-party on Amazon selling the CD (Everlasting Party) relatively cheaply, so I grabbed it, a mere three years after the album was released.? And thus was I introduced to Here Come The Mummies. Read more


After a great deal of wrestling, I have managed to update the blog to the latest version of WordPress, although it did require selecting a new theme, so that may change many times until I’m happy.? I should have actual posts coming soon!

An Open Letter to the Wanker in the Silver, Jacked-up Pickup

Fellow Commuter,

I understand you were in a great hurry to get…well, wherever. You were certainly clear about that as you swerved around my vehicle and pulled away at high speed. But I just wanted to take a moment to communicate some information that may save you some time and frustration in the future. If you are in the lane behind me, and I am traveling at the safest speed proscribed by local laws and road conditions, and you are unable to get around me because of traffic in the other lane, and all of this is preventing you from being able to drive close to 100 MPH…I DON”T CARE. Honestly, I couldn’t care less how much I’m impacting your ability to be a pompous ass and a danger to the community. And frankly, I think it’s kind of funny that you think I MIGHT care.

I don’t like to stereotype, but you are exhibiting a great many of the characteristics that I often see in owners of “off-road” vehicles. Your truck is very clean, shiny, and extremely un-”off-road”. You don’t appear to have a work nor a leisure reason for driving a vehicle of that style, and so it appears that you think it somehow conveys your importance. Perhaps that is why you were so shocked that I didn’t pull over to let you pass at whatever unsafe speed you chose. I think perhaps you need to examine your priorities, because your substantial investment in a vehicle with low gas mileage and further investment to make it even more financially, environmentally and safety damaging, does not seem to have paid off. And the fact that you were stuck behind my old, four-door Saturn and that your truck did not convey upon you superior driving skills nor magical powers to get around me sort of proves that point.

But good luck next time!

The Consequence-Free Society, Part 2: Personal Responsibility

People make bad decisions all the time. Nearly everything we do, every action we take, every move we make–requires a choice. Unless we are brilliant, or very lucky, some of those choices will be wrong, just out of statistical probability. With good planning and a bit of insight, we can try to tweak those odds in our favor, and make our mistakes on the small choices and not the big ones.

But making a good choice requires good data. And any data can be wrong, no matter the source. All data should be viewed with suspicion, and an alternate point of view should be sought before any decision is made. This is not just a sensible precaution, but a management technique used for thousands of years. It is sometimes called research.

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The Consequence-Free Society, Part 1

A favorite target of conservatives, both fiscal and social, is the current lack of personal responsibility. Blamed for a whole raft of societal ills, it has been touted as the reason we need welfare and tort reform. People are unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions or the consequences that go with them, and the rest of society suffers. People aren’t willing to work an honest day, and so they sponge off the tax dollars of the hard-working. People file frivolous lawsuits in hopes of hitting the jackpot, punishing the employees of the companies they sue. Students (and their parents), complain about low grades, so grade inflation makes the efforts of the other students who earned their grades less valuable.

But why do Americans act this way? In this series of essays, I want to examine why we have arrived at this point, and why we as a society have decided to let this happen. Because this isn’t a problem with individuals breaking out of the rules…it’s a problem of society changing the rules to allow this to happen.

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A Patrick Swayze Christmas in July!

I am excited beyond all rational thought by my discovery today of Rifftrax. I’ve seen podcasted DVD commentary tracks before, but a riffing by Michael J. Nelson? And the inaugural commentary is for…ROADHOUSE!!!!

I bought the track from the site (a bargain at $1.99 ), but sadly, my local video store does not carry Roadhouse (what are they thinking?!) so it will have to wait. A quick listen to some excerpts from the track have got me thinking that I should just buy it, cause I’ll want to do this again and again. It should be on the discount rack somewhere, or maybe I’ll go all out and get the new “deluxe” version that just came out.

Why Sludgeville?

Most folks close to me know why I chose the domain name sludgeville.com. For everyone else, a little background…

Back in the VERY early 80s, I had a Communications class that I really enjoyed. The structure of the class itself was a bit weird, since it was scheduled at the same time as Band, but Band was only held 2-3 times a week, and most of the students in the class were IN Band. That meant that we only had a full class a couple of times a week. The other days, those of us not in Band got to sit and work quietly. Read more