Archive | May, 2012

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

I enjoyed the Avengers movie quite a bit, but I did have some problems with it, and one of them is Loki. In Thor, Loki was a complex, nuanced, somewhat sympathetic antagonist; in The Avengers he’s just pure malevolence, which is less interesting.

Actually that was my chief quarrel with the second Hulk movie too. In the first Hulk movie (which of course isn’t strictly part of the Avengers continuity, but the second Hulk movie picked up so many narrative strands from the first that it’s hard to treat it as purely separate either), General Ross was likewise a complex, nuanced, somewhat sympathetic antagonist, and one who was opposed to the human experimentation that led to Banner’s condition; in the second Hulk movie Ross is more straightforwardly villainous (albeit not completely so) and is actually carrying on human experimentation himself.

B5 Baker Street

Twitter exchange between Straczynski and Moffat here and here, over Sherlock.

It occurs to me that both writers have featured season finales involving the series protagonist apparently falling to his death.

Those That Leave Their Valiant Bones In France

Graves of Gustave de Molinari and Benjamin Constant in Paris

Graves of Gustave de Molinari and Benjamin Constant in Paris

David Hart and Robert Leroux have released an amazing-looking anthology of French Liberalism in the 19th Century, including several works not previously translated. Check out the table of contents:


Part I: The Empire (up to 1815)
1. Pierre-Louis Roederer: Property Rights (1800)
2. Jean-Baptiste Say: The Division of Labour (1803)
3. Destutt de Tracy: The Laws and Public Liberty (1811)
4. Charles Comte: Foreword to Le Censeur (1814)

Part II: The Restoration (1815-1830)
5. Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer: Foreword to Le Censeur Européen (1817)
6. Destutt de Tracy: Society (1817)
7. Germaine de Staël: The Love of Liberty (1818)
8. Benjamin Constant: The Liberty of the Ancients and the Moderns
9. Pierre Daunou: Freedom of Opinion (1819)

Part III: The July Monarchy (1830-1848)
10. Alexis de Tocqueville: The Liberty of the Press (1830)
11. Pierre-Jean de Béranger on his Songs and Liberty (1833)
12. Gustave de Beaumont: The Abolition of the Aristocracy in Ireland (1839)
13. Pierre-Jean de Béranger: Selected Poems (1800-1840)

Part IV: The Second Republic (1848-1852)
14. Frédéric Bastiat: Disarmament and Taxes (1849)
15. Gustave de Molinari: The Private Production of Security (1849)
16. Michel Chevalier: The Protectionist System (1852)
17. Léon Faucher: Property (1852)
18. Courcelle-Seneuil: Sumptuary Laws (1852)
19. Joseph Garnier: The Cost of Collection of Taxes (1852)
20. Joseph Garnier: Laissez Faire — Laissez Passer (1852)
21. Ambroise Clément: Private Charity (1852)

Part V: The Second Empire (1852-1870)
22. Henri Baudrillart: Political Economy (1852)
23. Augustin Thierry: The Rise of the Bourgeoisie (1859)
24. Louis Wolowski and Émile Levasseur: Property (1863)
25. Horace Say: The Division of Labour (1863)
26. Maurice Block: Decentralization (1863)
27. Édouard Laboulaye: Individual Liberties (1865)

Part VI: The Third Republic (1871 onwards)
28. Hippolyte Taine: Abusive Government Intervention (1890)
29. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu: The Definition of the State (1890)
30. Yves Guyot: The Tyranny of Socialism (1893)
31. Gustave de Molinari: Governments of the Future (1899)

Unfortunately, the pricetag is currently $130, so I’ll be waiting until after my summer salary hiatus to pick it up.

Where the Ruffalo Roam

Ruffalo smash!

Thus spake Marvel Studios star-tsar Kevin Feige:

There had been discussion as to where to take … the part [of the Hulk] and Joss [Whedon] had some ideas. He came to us and said, “I’d like to think about another actor,” and we said, “Well, much of what we like about The Avengers is we’re taking all the actors we had before and putting them together again, so we said it depends on who you’re thinking of – if you’re thinking of A, B or C maybe not, if you’re thinking of Mark Ruffalo, we’d be open to a conversation.” And he goes, “Holy shit!” and takes a list out of his pocket, and at the top of his list was Mark Ruffalo.

Okay, so does that mean that Feige was lying his head off two years ago when he said, or at least strongly implied, that the change was made because Ed Norton was too difficult to work with?

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