Archive for Battlestar Galactica

Feminist Comics Starter Pack: How Graphic Novelists are Subverting Patriarchy and Gender-Normativity, Buffy and Beyond

Posted in anthropology, art & music, celebrities, comics, feminism, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

supergirls-pai2
Lets talk about some badass anti-sexist comics & characters! Buffy! Runaways! Y-the last man! the Young Avengers!! American Virgin!!! and so many things written by Grant Morrison (esp. the Invisibles)!!!! I flaked out on posting some of these thoughts a long time ago…

Oh, if this isn’t the era of making good on old promises, I don’t know what is. As I’m fond of doing whenever we tread dangerously close to the annuls of geekdom, I’m hereby warning you that its gonna get priiiitty-darn geeky in a hurry, so suspend your usual aplomb,if_i_had_a_hammer check over your shoulder for nosey co-workers who might report you to the nerd Gestapo, and if you’re an insider, check your self-reproach at the search window- cuz we’re going to feminist nerdville, population, nosotr@s!

We’ve alluded previously (“we” ya know, royally speaking), to emergent feminisms withinBUFFY2-23-FC-01mic/ graphic novel genre, and I’ve been angling to give that theme a little more exploration…

The veritable 10,000 lbs gorilla in the room of course is Ms. Buffy Summers, since she provided such a crucial opening. So lets just get that out of the way before airing any reflections on new challenges to male supremacy, gender normativity, and heterosexism (and believe me, we’ll only manage to barely tip our hat to that iceberg on this post).

[I should warn you of spoiler alerts, even though I’m not writing on any super recent content on any of the titles. Just, if you don’t wanna know who’s transgender or who has a gay crush on whom, or any major plot arcs, then you’d best skim for the recommended titles and not read this till después]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the project, not just the character), both on the television, and most certainly beyond in the season 8 comics, has been bold, imaginative, and inspirational, (even if a bit 2.5 wave-ish, IMHO), in its championing of a popular feminism. That last attribute, its accessibility and high public profile, are perhaps its greatest contributions. Anyone who’s taken the time to listen to the commentary on seasons six and seven of Buffy (dorks!) understands how explicitly the writers (and especially creator/ writer Joss Whedon) set up sexism/male supremacy as the villain for the prime time show (groundbreaking, obvi), and the totally awesome seachange of women sharing power with women, embodied by the army of slayers from the TV finale and season eight.
buffy-airdrop
Whats awesome, is hearing some of the female-identified writers from the show speak about this explosion of Whedon’s original idea of a single heroine with tons of latent power, to an organic realization of a truly feminist ideal, when every ‘potential’ slayer is given full slayer powers through the goddess-like witchcraft of everyone’s favorite red-headed lesbian witch, Willow. Fucking righteous.

Okay, lets not get too abstract. What was Whedon’s initial anti-sexist set up? A reaction to the unavoidable paranoia of women alone in the dark in the city… their vulnerabilities, the objectification of women as objects (specifically vampire dinner), and the bizarre displacement of men’s fucked up/ violent/ entitled-feeling desires as the fault of women who “dress like they want it” (that line in particular was used in the show where scantly clad femmes are blamed for attracting vampires- WTF). Right, so that was Joss’s reaction.

By season eight, Buffy transcended patriarchy not only making men yearn for the kind of power that women so ferociously wielded on the show (from Anya, to Ms.Calendar, to Faith, Tara, Glory and Kennedy, not to mention the original Scoobies themselves), such that by the end of the television run of the show, the entire paradigm shifted from “how do we show women being defiant of men’s power and violence” to “how do we envision women sharing the power they build through relationships as a community of anti-sexist feminist praxis”? buffyarmy

Okay, the feminist praxis bit is my own cherry on top, but you get the picture. By time there are thousands of slayers being trained up in Buffy’s European castle, we’re in a different world from the predatory un-dead men of the hellmouth. I can’t believe I have a blog where I can write a sentence like that, and where people like you can read that. Some corners of this world are just it seems (:

and we live in world where comics that were being written post 2003 have that as a pop-feminist foundation, beyond which we get all kinds of serious (by which I mean totally badass-ferocia).

Next up is Runaways, which is awesome for many reasons (chiefly, the superb writing by creator Brian K Vaughan, and the astounding & witty character development), but is worth mentioning here for a couple reasons. First, taking a cue from Whedon, the Runaways quickly settle on Nico Minoru as their leader, one of very few super hero (anti-hero?) teams that is fronted by a woman of color. She’s a fierce fashionista of substantial power, who has a goth-streak and who struggles very realistically with her sexuality. Totally crush-worthy… karolinaimage5vol2iss7

which is why Karolina Dean spends part of volume two coming out, through exploring her crush on Nico. Ultimately though, its not Karolina’s chronicle of queerness that proves the ulitmate stroke of subversion (this arc was published after the L-word had already broken ground- although it was still unique in the world of mainstream comic books).

More groundbreaking was the revelation that Karolina’s betrothed, Xavin (a shapeshifting skrull, who initially appears as a black teenage alien- wait thats redundant… a skrull is a type of alien), comfortably changes genders and pursues their feelings for Karolina as a transgender lesbian. This was just five or six years ago, all playing out in Marvel comics so- Wow! Xavin’s friends switch which pronouns they use for hir/them as their gender expression/presentation shifts from comic issue to issue, though Xavin mostly interacts with Karolina as a fem lesbian once she (Xavin) realizes that Karolina prefers women (sexually speaking).
151879-77483-xavin_super

Brian K Vaughan moves past the quotidian politics of generation Y teens by taking a feminist bend to the apocalyptic crisis of September 11th, 2001 in his other graphic novel, Y the Last Man, which was published by the edgy DC/Vertigo Comics.
29-1
Here, Yorick Brown and his magician’s assistant/ pet monkey, Ampersand are the only surviving mammals with a Y chromosome. I can do the novel no justice here, buy its worth skipping around to some feminist touchstones that come up in the witty writing of Y the Last Man, including militant Amazon feminist separatists (who ritually cut off one of their breasts in political solidarity, and who burn all the world’s sperm banks), a planet of ubiquitous/normalized F-M transgenderism (and the sexwork that comes with it!), a little S&M rite of passage stuff, queer/co-parenting, a secret all female-run spy network (dating back to the Revolutionary War), and a whole lot of girl-on-girl lovin.7-1

Basically, Y the Last Man is a realistic take on the “what if” concept of a gendered apocalypse, where virtually all the power-hoarding men (ie, all men) die out overnight, and the world wakes up to a dystopia where: 1) the American highways don’t work cuz all the truck drivers are men and they all died on the highway, leaving the wreckage of sixteen-wheelers everywhere, 2) the highest ranked woman in the entire US Government is the secretary of agriculture (anyone else having Laura Roslin/ Battlestar Galactica flashbacks??!) who then assumes the office of the presidency, oh and 3) the strongest military in the world becomes that of Israel, which, as you know, is the only army where women are fully 50% of trained harbingers of destruction. Shit makes for an interesting read! No super-heroes here!

avengersscreencapea3Young Avengers. Not much to say. The hot leading men are gay lovers. BFD. Its a welcome change, but we were ready for that ceiling to be shattered like 30 years ago. Still, Hulkling and Wiccan are key-yute together!

7524_400x600
Jumping tracks, Vertigo’s American Virgin “follows the life of Adam, a teenager who is a born-again Christian preacher, and his struggle with issues of his sexuality and faith as he plods step by step toward a lascivious world of desire, temptation, and cultural taboo. In exploring such faux-pas of protestantism, American Virgin whisks readers along a non-stop journey that takes us everywhere from homo-social groups in southern Africa to Phallic worship ceremonies in Japan, the Gay Games in Australia, and an Indian marriage ceremony where Adam and his girlfriend learn about the traditional roles of intersex hijra in sexual rites of passage.page81_2 Throughout the whirlwind tour, Adam’s near constant companion is his stepsister, Cyndi, who is sexually liberal”, which is to say she’s a sex worker, and super-not ashamed of it, who ends up dating a sketchy Australian guy, who turns out to be trans and maybe not that sketchy? I dunno, I stopped working at a comic shop reading around then and don’t quite know how the story panned out, but shit was cancelled last year which is a huge bummer since writer Steven T. Seagle was taking American Virgin and its readers to new and unexplored levels. Le sigh…

Ya know, next I was gonna grapple with Marjane Satrape, whom you have prolly either read first-hand, or seen a film adaptation of Persepolis- but I decided its not even worth a whole spiel here. Long story short, the implication that liberation for Persian women can only come from accessing an escape valve to the West is a dangerous concept, (ooh la la, I’m in France, now I can be a strong feminist artist with political clout), even if those aren’t her real politics and its just her own story and not a world-view she espouses. 6a00d834515c2769e200e54f2826e88834-640wiWhich is not to say I shun the work entirely. It was very worthwhile for me and is for most people- I just want to append it with some critical thinking (which the film does not entreat). From what I hear from friends who’ve seen her, Satrape is an engaging thinker and speaker, and has pretty good politics, so lets just leave it at that…

Great. So last, and possibly my favorite is The Invisibles, where legendary characters like Lord Fanny explode gender, identity, race/ ethnicity, fucking witchcraft and of course sexuality in myriad dimensions (often literally). There is no effing way I can do the Invisibles justice in a paragraph or two, so I may just have to blog about it more fully on another occasion, but but but, a cursory mention of the fag-identified, super tranny ferocia, Lord Fanny is in order.
rb4005
Lord Fanny may be my favorite comic book character of all time. Of the 5 members in the invisibles cell that form the core of the graphic novel, Lord Fanny embodies Grant Morrison’s project of anarchistic destruction of all normativities. She is a brazilian witch (of mexican ancenstry), who was supposed to be born female. Coming from a long line of witch-priestess women, Fanny’s grandmother takes matters into her own hands and insists that fate-be-damned, this baby boy will be raised as a girl and continue the lineage of family witches. Dude. fanny_drawBadass Granny even slits Fanny’s inner thigh in order to fool the gods into believing that Lord Fanny has finally menstruated and become a woman worthy of their blessings and powers!

Like Xavin of the Runaways (only 10 years earlier), Lord Fanny unapologetically oscillates between male and female pronouns, can be seen trying on silicone tits in a London sex shop, and beyond simply sporting butch or femme clothing, she splashes the pages with cameos of fallatio in almost every city the Invisibles visit. Her nonchalant confrontations with homophobes is reason enough to read the Invisibles, but stick around for the invisibles crew as a whole: feminist power-sharing, leather fetishes, über dyke combatants, san francisco sex parties, and a grand scheme to sabotage the US Military’s attempt to hide the AIDS vaccine deep underground in the American Southwest!
246948-32919-the-invisibles_large

I think the main theme in these graphic novels is not only who these writers and protagonists are, nor what they do or represent, but the ways in which these characters and plots provoke new relationships within the comic book universe. Who these women, trannies, fags, and dykes are in relation to their team mates, their enemies, their world, and the reader is the real feminist push behind books. We are forced to see things relationally, and not just follow a bunch of jacked up men from battle to battle kicking each other’s asses.

oh boy. now I’m all excited about re-reading all of these gems! Check ’em out! Let me know what you think! And next time, I’ll try and highlight some of the great contributions of independent comics to our bold feminist world…

This post would not be complete if I did not address the obvious elephant in the room: serialobjectification of female bodies in comic books. Voilá:

Fangrrl Power,
Sunshine Superboy

Advertisements

Bolden: go where no black has gone before…

Posted in politics, sci-fi, science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Boldly?

s-CHARLES-BOLDEN-large

In a high-profile move to cope with his post-Battlestar Galactica depression, Famous All-Powerful Black Guy Barack Obama has appointed this black astronaut to lead the non-cylon races as NASA’s new top gun.

Man, electing a Black President was the best idea we negroes ever had!!!

MILKYWAY: SOLAR SYSTEM: EARTH: WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Saturday named former shuttle commander Charles Bolden to lead NASA at a critical time for the space agency.

The White House has ordered a complete outside review of NASA’s manned space program, including plans to return astronauts to the moon.

Bolden flew in space four times _ twice as shuttle commander _ and once was assistant deputy administrator at NASA headquarters in Washington. The 62-year-old Bolden left NASA in 1994.

If the Senate confirms Bolden, he would be the space agency’s first black administrator and the second astronaut to hold the post.

NASA Administrator

Obama also announced that he was nominating Lori Garver to be NASA’s deputy administrator. Garver was Obama’s NASA transition chief and is a former associate administrator at the agency.

“These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of Americas space program,” Obama said in a statement.

White House science adviser John Holdren said in early May that the new panel will look at the design of new spacecraft to replace the space shuttle and go to the moon, as well as consider possible alternatives to the current design.

Also to be studied is the five-year gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the new moon vehicles, with the first new space capsule flying in 2015. During that time, starting in late 2010, NASA would have to rely on the Russians for space travel. The review will look at extending NASA’s use of the multibillion-dollar international space station beyond 2016.

NASA has spent $6.9 billion on its plan to return to the moon, which then-President George W. Bush presented as a response to the 2003 space shuttle Columbia accident.

Asked “why Bolden?” Obama first cracked a pun about how ‘the time had come to Bolden go where no negro had gone before!’ After chuckling to himself, the Black President relented in a matter-of-fact tone “No seriously though…. Out of all of the characters we got to know, human and cylon, there wasn’t a single non-evil black astronaut on all four seasons of BSG. I mean, they did some groundbreaking things with gender, but I just wanted to show those racist script writing motherfrakkers that at the end of the day I’m the Black President of a real world space age nation, and my power, unlike Adama’s or Roslin’s, is like actual.”

So say we all, Mr.President. So say we all…

Sunshine Superboy

*so, everything written in the dark block quote section is like, actual.

Obama Depressed, Distant Since “Battlestar Galactica” Series Finale

Posted in humor, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , on April 12, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

obama_adama

Obama told aides he feels “like a cylon without a Resurrection Ship.”

As for me, I just have All Along the Watchtower ingrained in my brain for the next decade or two. So, too many BlackMaps/BSG fans have tugged on my sleeves about sharing this to remain silent much longer. Its pretty frakking awesome for the subset within the subset within the subset of you who follow the show and you know… have like heard of some guy named Barack O’ something.

Or maybe you are just a tad depressed in the post Battlestar lull. Its spring you dastards! Go out and play with bunnies and zombie-jesus!

From L’Onion avec pleasure:

WASHINGTON—According to sources in the White House, President Barack Obama has been uncharacteristically distant and withdrawn ever since last month’s two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica.

“The president seems to be someplace else lately,” said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, ‘What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'”

“I haven’t seen him this upset since Admiral Adama realized that Earth was actually an uninhabitable wasteland,” the official continued. “Or at least that’s what he told me. I don’t actually watch the show. It’s not really my thing.”

obama-depressed-computer-r

Obama attempts to console himself with leaked production stills from the upcoming spin-off Caprica.

Since the end of the series, Obama has reportedly brushed off key budgetary decisions, ignored his wife and children, and neglected his daily workouts, claiming that he no longer cares if he lets himself go “just like Lee did before the rescue on New Caprica.”

In addition, sources confirmed that instead of meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday, the depressed president sat alone in the Oval Office, scouring Internet message boards for posts by other fans about the series conclusion.

Hoping to cheer himself up, Obama also decided to re-watch the extended director’s cut of “Unfinished Business,” a season three episode he once described as “bringing the Starbuck-Apollo relationship to a head in the best possible way.”

Revisiting the series, however, has only made the president more miserable. After a staffer suggested he bring DVDs of the show along on a recent policy trip to Denver, Obama reportedly muttered under his breath, “What’s the point? It’s over.”

“We were going over his schedule when he sighed and asked if I watched Battlestar,” said a White House secretary, whom Obama used to playfully call “Billy.” “I told him I was planning on it because my sister’s a big fan, but he just stared out the window the whole time.”

“I also noticed he took down his Battlestar Galactica season 4.5 poster,” she added.

some-of-nothing-thirteenth-colony-for-obama

Obama watched the finale just as he had every previous episode, alone in the White House screening room with the volume turned all the way up. Sources said he emerged exhilarated and told several aides that the show’s writers “wrapped things up the best they could, though the very end was a little much.”

The commander in chief also bragged that he “totally called” the fact that “All Along The Watch Tower” would be used as the jump coordinates for the FTL drive.

Despite his initial excitement, by Monday morning the absence of the hour-long Sci-Fi program had begun to affect the president.

“I’m a little concerned,” first lady Michelle Obama was overheard saying at a fundraising event Tuesday. “When Firefly was canceled, he walked around like a zombie for a week, and Serenity was the only thing that snapped him out of it. Last night he said he felt like he had just discovered David Axelrod was one of the Final Five, whatever that means.”

A devoted fan of the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica, Obama was initially hesitant to watch the new series, saying he was upset to learn that hotshot pilot Starbuck would be played by a woman. However, during a particularly slow week in the U.S. Senate, Obama decided to rent the first season from Netflix.

obama_depressed

Aides said Obama “blew through” season one in a weekend, then purchased season 2.0 from a local Best Buy, and, in order to catch up in time for season three, downloaded the majority of season 2.5 from iTunes.

“When we spoke last month, he said season three was his least favorite because some of the episodes with Helo and the Sagittarons—and pretty much anything that involved Cally—were boring and didn’t advance the plot,” Afghan president Hamid Karzai said. “But I told him that when you watch it all on DVD, and you don’t have to wait a whole week for a new show, those peripheral episodes actually add new color to the already established world.”

Added Karzai, “Lately, though, it seems like he’d rather talk about the resurgence of Taliban warlords in Kandahar than the show.”

During an emergency press conference on Wednesday, Obama addressed his recent detachment, as well as various other matters facing the United States.

“Our nation finds itself in uncharted territory in the deep emptiness of space,” Obama announced. “The Old Girl has limited supplies, no allies, and now, no hope. I never said this would be an easy journey. Yet I promise you this: There is a place where there is no war and no economic turmoil. It is where, according to the Sacred Scrolls handed down to us by the Lords of Kobol, the thirteenth tribe traveled over three thousand years ago. That place is called Earth. Not the other Earth. This Earth. It’s complicated. Anyway, I plan to take us there.”

Added Obama, “So say we all! So say we all! So say we all!”

Hi-larious.

The World is Yrs,
Sunshine Superboy

Spoiler Alert! Don’t hit play unless you’ve already seen the last episode or don’t really give a frak:

Gender in the Vacuum of Space

Posted in politics, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

bsg_recaps

Warning: there is a serious BSG spoiler toward the end of this post. If you care, don’t scroll down till you watch the new episode that aired Fri, Jan 16th, 2009.

image47
The continuation continues tonight. Just cuz I’m feeling a little vapid for my Battlestar Galactica post, I’m revisiting the issue, but like for real this time. Part of what fans like myself find compelling about BSG is that it actually IS that deep sometimes, and also offers, through the magic of television, a visualization (as sci-fi is wont to do) of a radically different world. With BSG, for example, we get to see on screen, in the flesh, women in real positions of power (not sidekicks or tokens), which, at a more fundamental level, can be a glimpse into our own world, where that power already exists all around us- after all, what is science fiction but the projection of our own cosmology just a few steps beyond the present moment? Here we are in 2009 and almost everything that Philip K. Dick, (or even Kurt Vonnegut for that matter) wrote about (aka “foretold”) has come to pass.

.not my homeboy.

.not my homeboy.

So about a year ago, I was in New Orleans visiting a friend and had all this gender stuff punch through in an interesting way. I was playing catch-up somewhere around the end of Season 2 or the beginning of Season 3 on her roommate’s BSG dvds, when out of nowhere my befuddled friend, who was in the kitchen, heard me shouting from the living room “Holyfuck this is SO intense!”

I was so overwhelmed that I had to pause the dvd and physically get up and walk to the kitchen just to release some nerves. It was right at a moment where Admiral Cain (a woman, and awesome butch lesbian at that!) had shown up outta the blue, immediately out-ranking Bill Adama who had worked more than a season to gain the trust of President Laura Roslin. Gender and power. It got crazier. Adama had just deployed Kara Thrace aka “Starbuck”, as his best fighter and most trusted maverick, to assassinate the cutthroat Admiral Cain (for the good of the fleet and all surviving humanity).

The tension on screen between the two heavy hitting women (Cain and Starbuck) was palpable, complex, and extremely fraught. But for the audience, seeing two women dominate the screen time, and the power plays of the plot was a whole other mind trip. It was good fun.

the black lady never botched the oath the way Justice Roberts did.

the black lady never botched the oath the way Justice Roberts did.

And this was wholly apart from the chief executive power of the fucking awesome female president, Laura Roslin (seen here being sworn in).

I guess you have to see the show to appreciate the depth of how gender is playing out in the post-apocalyptic vacuum of space. But it really does keep unfolding in brave and complex ways. Can I reveal one more spoiler? Caprica Pegasus Six? Gay (well, queer or at least bi or something). Admiral Cain? Hella Gay. n49517262446_1887And now Lieutenant Felix Gaeta? He’s the gay too! (Not that we didn’t see that coming since fracking season 1). So much gender and sexuality to muse about… let alone, questions of how to gender a cylon….

Here’s an excerpt from a 45-minute long Brown University interview with Mary McDonnell (who plays Laura Roslin). Its an opening reflection on gender in the fleet on the show.

Stephanie Nicora noted that Battlestar Galactica is superficially feminist, with women in charge — but this seems to be true more of the Cylons than of humanity. In fact, Rousseau’s notion of separate spheres seems to be entrenched in the show: Roslin is President, but she can’t do anything much without the support of Galactica — headed by Commander Bill Adama, a man. When Admiral Helena Cain arrives, a female military leader, both Roslin and Adama agree that she’s a dire threat. Roslin doesn’t even have control over her own body — no one asks her whether or not she wants the cure from Hera’s blood — and by extension she is forced to adopt a pro-life stance and ban abortion. Her question: as a feminist, what’s your interpretation of these narratives?

Post comments or just go head and vote on my first Black Maps poll.

So Say We All?
~Sunshine Superboy

ooooooh, and just for kicks and cylon invasion preparedness, check this fracking thing out:
how-to-spot-a-cylon

My Rocket to the Moon, My Battlestar to the Inauguration

Posted in maps & mapping, politics, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

bsgwallpaperfinalfe61
Baracket Man
With the inaugs just around the corner, its hard not to be gearing up for a national freakout on Tuesday. I myself have found it irresistable to venture a roadtrip to the federal district if only to witness the euphoric clusterfrak up close. That, and I wouldn’t mind checking out the netroots party (so long as I can find somebody to sponsor me) seeing as it may be my only chance to flirt with prescient number geek Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight. We’ll leave the humdrum world of politics (earthly ones at least… Laura Roslin still awaits), in just a moment, but I just had to share this nugget of ridiculocity. That is, Oklahoma Senator Colburn lost a college football bet, and is apparently going to therefore sing “Rocket Man” (in his underwear at the top of his lungs??!) to pay it off:

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is slated to serenade Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida with his very own rendition of Elton John’s 1970s classic Wednesday afternoon. Coburn owes Nelson because the Florida Gators defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 in last week’s BCS title game. Nelson chose “Rocket Man” because he is a former astronaut who flew on the space shuttle Columbia in the 1980s. If Oklahoma had won, Nelson would have had to sing the title song from the musical “Oklahoma!” It also happens to be the official state song.

I think that story speaks for itself…. Why do people even report on this stuff?

Update. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can torture yourself:

Okay, so I promised more maps, so courtesy of dreamy mathgeek Nate, if you give a frak about your new congress hereitis:

_cdmap

the little numbers represent the respective Congressional Districts in each state.

There are, obviously, a couple of different trade-offs at play here. On the one hand, you’d like the the shape of each “state” to bear some resemblence to its real-life counterpart. On the other hand, you want the states that share borders in real life to also share borders in the cartogram. And furthermore, it would be nice to have the Congressional Districts within each state in some sort of reasonably representative geography — which isn’t easy in a state like New York where three-quarters of the districts are in New York City and its immediate suburbs.

Accomplishing all of those things with one cartogram is, I’ve determined, probably impossible; the example I’ve provided cheats by creating a sort of warp zone between Minnesota/Iowa and North/South Dakota. Still, I think it gets the job done by and large.

I don’t have enough cartograms in my life, so consider it a job well done, bud.

Weaver’s Way
Seeing as I’ve managed to get more than a few of you enamored with the unflappable 10-year-old 5th grader come journalist, Damon Weaver, I feel obliged to keep you updated on the sitch, and share in my frabjous zeal.
damon_weaver
For those of you waiting, with bated-breath and all, to find out if he’ll land that interview with Obama (not Michelle, the other one), he’s just moved one step closer. Apparently Rahm, or whomever behind the scene of the hallowed transition committee, has granted Damon an inaugural press credential. They say a kid can dream, Weaver, but you’ve got the whole frakking world rooting for you!

Galactica Countdown!
Holy Frak! While all the normies are counting down till the inaugs, I’m like losing my mind waiting for the (bittersweet) conclusion of BSG. Are you like totally done waiting for the rest of Season 4 or what?! (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, its time for you to skip ahead in the blog, cuz its gonna get a tad geeky in here). In fact, just to provide some context for Battlestar geekage, I love the show, but I’m not THIS crazy. Behold a BSG pimped out PC:
bgal_pc_front

Can we say “Galactica ACTUAL”?!

Finally, on Friday we get to see what happens when the ship jumped away with President Laura Roslin onboard (with a cuckoobananas hybrid no less), and the whole saga with Hera, and maybe Starbuck is done losing her mind?, and for the love of Kobol would they just tell us who the final cylon is already?! Here’s an embedded treat to refresh some of your memory and get a peek at whats to come:

So Say We All!!!!

Esteban Sunshine Superboy