After 20 years, ‘Oz’ has lost most of its magic

The other day I started watching the HBO series Oz. Going in, my expectations were that it was a serious drama from the late 1990s with a brutal depiction of prison life including lots of sexual assault and violence but altogether of high quality.

That’s not unwarranted, but through four seasons it’s mainly been interesting because it’s so completely a product of its era that it feels like it was produced in another country.

Continue reading “After 20 years, ‘Oz’ has lost most of its magic”

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A Social Justice Society would be a lot more interesting

The other day, I made a long and nerdy social justice warrior post on io9 in response to Evan Narcisse’s article about the hero Nighthawk.

My response doesn’t cover any new ground, and it certainly won’t change anyone’s minds, but I spent some time on it, and it’s as close to writing fiction as I think I’ve got in me these days.

With some revisions, here’s my case for retconning and reinterpreting more characters to have diverse backgrounds:

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‘Panzram: A Journal of Murder’ & light in the darkness

‘There is nothing to history. No progress, no justice. There is nothing but random horror.’
The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

Carl Panzram is one of the worst human beings ever to have lived.

If I were asked to name the face of evil, probably I’d say something like Adolf Hitler or if I were feeling more clever, Joseph Stalin or someone else universally considered a despicable human being who was responsible for the deaths of millions or tens of millions of people.

Stalin seemed to have been deeply, genuinely in love with his first wife. Hitler seemed to have a place of sincere kindness in him for dogs and secretaries.

Continue reading “‘Panzram: A Journal of Murder’ & light in the darkness”