Archive | December, 2009


The schedule for next month’s ISIL conference/retreat in Phoenix is gloriously online. I’m doing an equality dance and a Rand/class-conflict dance.

Lords of Barsoom, Part 2

I don’t know about you, but the Dejah Thoris I remember would have had no difficulty escaping from this incredibly flimsy-looking cage:

Did I mention that this is going to be very bad?

Lords of Barsoom

While Disney and Pixar have been putting together a big-budget version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars, due out in 2012, apparently the folks at the Asylum – who have churned out a number of low-budget direct-to-dvd Burroughs and Verne adapatations, as well as such cleverly-titled films as Transmorphers, Snakes on a Train, and AVH: Alien vs. Hunter – have been working their magic on the same source material with Princess of Mars, another direct-to-dvd extravaganza that I hadn’t even heard about until a passing reference on AICN this morning. (Here the main goal seems to be to hitch a ride on Avatar’s coattails; when the main Barsoom movie comes out, I imagine the Asylum will emit a sequel.)

You can see a trailer and some stills at this site. Yes, that’s Traci Lords as a blonde, white-skinned Dejah Thoris; and yes, those are two-armed tharks. Yes, this looks very bad. Yes, I’ll have to get it.

A People’s History of Pandora, Part 2

Libertarians are divided on Avatar (which I haven’t seen yet); check out Peter Suderman, Stephan Kinsella, Peter Klein, David Kramer, and Lester Hunt.

Lester writes, inter alia:

What makes the business corporation in this movie so evil? Well, it engages in the following practices: using military force to invade and conquer foreign lands, slaughtering wholesale numbers of the inhabitants and burning their dwellings, all in order to steal their property. … Gee, I thought, I can’t think of a single business corporation that engages in those particular practices. Office Depot doesn’t, and I’m pretty sure Microsoft and Dell Inc don’t either.

So in the comments section I responded:

I can’t think of many businesses that engage in those particular practices all on their own. But I can think of plenty of businesses that have either gotten governments to engage in those practices on their behalf (examples range from the East India Company to the United Fruit/Brands Company) or have themselves engaged in those practices on some government’s behalf (e.g. Blackwater, DynCorp).

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