Monday, January 24, 2011

Comics Code Authority is dead - Boing Boing

Comics Code Authority is dead - Boing Boing
It's not yet confirmed that the Comics Code Authority will still continue in some form; presumably not, as its membership was representatives from the very publishers that submitted to its authority.
While some will look at the practice of the CCA as "censorship," the dividing lines are not as clear: publishers had to right not to submit their comics for Code approval, in fact Dell/Western proclaimed their standards were more stringent than the Code, thus why sully their reputations buy putting the seal on their covers.
But when the Code was first adopted in the 1950s, other publishers that tried going without it quickly found that distributors would not rack their comics if they weren't Code approved. Those that couldn't adapt went out of business. Bill Gaines canceled all his comics, made MAD into a magazine, and thrived.
So that's an example of censorship by the free market. One can argue that's even more egregious than censorship by self-appointed committee. Most movie chains still won't book a film that doesn't carry an MPAA rating, and we've seen how the movie rating board thinks a movie full of gory violence can be PG-13, but if that same movie shows a sex scene, or uses a common word for sex, it's an R. Or consider that Nat King Cole had a variety show on NBC for over a year; that finally closed down because no national sponsor could be signed, and TV staions in the South refused to clear it.
That's your free market at work.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Best analysis of a failed "Star Trek" movie by its writer…

It's easier to follow the links in this article than to track to the original articles it cites. Basically, Michael Pillar, "Star Trek: TNG's" show runner, detailed what went wrong with "Star Trek: Insurrection."

While I might complain that I just now realized the final plot of the movie was swiped by "Avatar," is it better than the original idea of swiping from "Heart of Darkness?" or rather "Apocalypse Now?"

Commenters in the article point out the main problem with Roddenberry's Star Trek universe: The Federation has infinite resources and its people can get pretty much anything they want. Starship crews are all perfected human beings without the possibility for character-based conflict. The only source for conflict is people on new planets who haven't been converted to The Way; or the Borg, the Ferengi (as originally conceived) and other races who invade the Federation because they Want Our Stuff. After Roddenberry died, the staff were allowed to create some conflict among characters. Deep Space 9 threw together more than one source of conflict with the local war's detente and its intrigues, then the Founders on the other side of the wormhole, while the beloved Ferengi Quark made his nut by meeting even Federation members' appetite for avarice. And don't forget "Gold-pressed Latinum," introduced as the new hard (well, liquid) currency because it was the only substance which couldn't be duplicated by transporters.

Then again, this is the production crew that did two movies with a Villain who wanted to Blow Up the Earth simply because they had a bad day. At least Marvin the martian wanted a better view of Venus!