28 October 2010

All Hail the Philosopher-King Sausages!

Rather bizarre stuff today (although, given the strange stuff that one ordinarily finds here, you'll just have to take my word that this is bizarrer than usual).

  • Old men sending young men off to die has been the central feature of national policy in the west for about six hundred years, give or take... and much longer than that in East Asia. Seldom, however, have those old men had so little experience of war themselves. Next time, we're going to celebrate Plato and rename members of the US Senate the Philosopher-Kings (particularly given that "kings" were more likely to be unseated than are incumbent senators).
  • Lots of weird news from publishing today... rather oddly concentrated on the last Thursday before the holiday-season releases begin hitting the stores on Tuesday (the first Tuesday after Halloween). First up, one might call him Ishmael... but one might better call him Frank, Jr. I'm afraid that the result described in the article was entirely predictable. But it could be worse: Rather than a real spy spilling his perception of the beans, it could be an imaginary ad-man selling out imaginary Madison Avenue, or a Turkish author following in the footsteps of D.H. Lawrence (no, that's not some new kink) and thereby demonstrating rather definitively why Turkey is not ready for EU membership.
  • From the Department of Burning Barn, Division of Horse Long Gone, the UK Publishers' Association wants stricter policing of territorial rights in the face of EU free-trade principles. Yeah, that's going to happen... to anyone's benefit except the lawyers.
  • I must bow to the superior sarcasm displayed by my only feline colleague the IPKat concerning Paul the Psychic Octopus (although I'm not certain that an accurate description of Fabio Capello's team-selection method qualifies as "sarcastic," even if it sounds that way; having his starting left midfielder played off the field in twenty minutes by the long-anticipated US starting right back?).

Last, and far from least, and not really a sausage (because it was so predictable): SyFy has cancelled Caprica with immediate effect. I'm actually surprised that it took this long; the Zucker regime has been nothing if not antiintellectual, and one must remember who owns/runs/controls both SyFy and the studio that produces the show. But for the critical acclaim, Zucker et al. would have cancelled The West Wing after season 4, and a look at the dominance of Unlawful and Disorderly on NBC's broadcast primetime schedule; at the deterioration of Burn Notice to become more action-oriented this past season; at the action-oriented nature of SyFy's next BSG offering; the very continued employment of Jeff Zucker, who never met anything longer than a soundbite that he could understand, unless it related to men being in charge; and so on; all merely confirm that. In short, my only surprise is that it took this long for SyFy to realize that it might be undermining its testosterone level with a female-lead-dominated series that — however often it missed — strove for a thoughtful, ambiguous depiction of a declining, degenerate society.