Saturday, March 29, 2008

on camino vs. firefox.

I've recently switched from my old Dell laptop to a MacBook. I'm pretty happy with the switch (not least of all because my old computer couldn't survive at all without being plugged in and my MacBook's battery life is really good) but I'm not on the Mac train yet. To me, it's just another computer, albeit with a few new things to learn.

(As a sidenote here, for the company that's supposed to be all about easing the transition, making things work really simply, I've had some bad experiences with Mac. My iPod and MacBook both worked just fine, as expected, but when I recently converted to the iPhone, I had tremendous trouble setting it up. I'll chalk that up more to AT&T but I just recently bought a Time Capsule, to keep all my music backed up and it's been nigh-impossible to set up. Not that this has anything to do with this post, but I just wanted to complain for a little bit.)

Anyway, the main question of the night is this: for anyone out there who loves their Mac, which browser do you use? Why? I've been on Firefox since about day one of getting this new MacBook, but I've been reading up on Camino lately and I'm a little confused. It seems very much the same to me. When the fanboys talk about things loading faster, or graphics rendering better, they look the same to me, the speed appears the same. So I don't really get it.

Does it make a difference for a semi-casual web browser? I like the search engine functionality of Firefox and from what I've read neither Camino nor Safari (which I haven't even touched on yet, but should be mentioned as some of the Mac diehards mention it in the same breath, or even as better than, both of the others) offers that option, but what are the other things that I should be taking into consideration? I look at the same old websites, watch some YouTube videos every once in a while, but I mainly use my computer as a writing tool: blogging, e-mail, papers for school, etc. With the new purchase of the Time Capsule, I'm hoping to use every computer that I own as a media device, obviously including this one, but that's pretty secondary to me; there are very few times that I'm without my iPod.

Regardless, which browser do you use and why? And which should I use?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

on the back door draft.

Remember when the Stop Loss policy was getting a lot of mainstream attention and it seemed like something to get legitimately pissed off about? Well, MTV thinks that time is now, and they want you to care about it again, via their new movie, Stop Loss.

I got a chance to go see a sneak preview of this movie on Tuesday night and I have to say that I walked away pretty impressed. I read the Rolling Stone review and it seems as though they agreed. Then I read my local alternative weekly's review, and just like a typical hipster rag, they had to dog on it, seemingly just because it had attractive people in it.

My opinion falls somewhere in between the two, but certainly way more on the Rolling Stone side of things. (BTW, just as a sidenote, but how great was it to see Matt Taibbi totally eating crow on his last two death sentences on Hillary Clinton? I'm not saying that I'm happy that the contest is still going on, nor with the bitter, terrible tone that the Democratic Presidential Primary has taken, but it's just great to read someone who's so utterly harsh and oftentimes heartless in his writing to get 100% factually proven wrong. But I digress...) Stop Loss is a great movie, if only for the hope that it'll get people talking about this unjust policy once again. It's a ridiculous thing to do, it's unfair to some of the people who need the most fairness in their lives, and it's a terrible thing to put families through.

The key points of the movie seem to me to be that they give equal access to all comers. There's certainly a lot of rah-rah-it's-our-Army type of thing going on, people who are proud of serving their country, and rightly so. There's apparently been some talk that the film justifies desertion, but I also say that's bull. At no point in this movie is the option of running away presented as the right thing to do, nor did it ever seem as though that was the way the movie was going to end. When it did, in fact, end, I looked at the Teacher and said, "Well, that was the only it could have ended." She agreed. It's ludicrous to think that this movie could be glorifying something that is so clearly seen as the wrong choice.

However, despite that angle, the movie never pigeon holes the people who are opposed to the war, or the Stop Loss program, either. There's lots of different options, including the ex-vet who's on the move, finally deciding to go up to Canada after trying to dodge the American government for 14 months, there's the asshole brother of a slain soldier who tells his commanding officer that his brother wasted his life, and there's the guy who promises that they'll be able to get over the border, but really only seems interested in making a buck. (Or a thousand.) These characters, whom we only get to see for a few moments each, all add depth to the overall effect of the movie's theme, which seems obvious to anyone who's willing to put just a little thought in.

The best things about this movie are that it doesn't come down firmly on either side of the war. That's not the point of the movie. The point is to bring this attention to one part of the war that is incontrovertibly wrong: that the American government would purposely and willingly and maliciously lie to the very people who have supported that government and allowed it to get to the position that it's in.

So do yourself a favor: go see the movie. And if you don't see it, at least read up on the policy. Education is good.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

link of the day.

Via True Hoop I found this amazing video based on Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" for the Lakers this season.

That's all. Seriously. Well, maybe not. On the YouTube recommended links for this video is a video called "Lakers Tattoos." Does anyone think that maybe someday I'll have a Lakers tattoo? Geez, I kinda hope not.

Monday, March 24, 2008

on determinism vs. free will.

Via Neatorama I found this cool blog, called Locusts & Honey which pointed me to this video called Black Button, which very much seems like a meditation on the free will vs. determinism schism which is something I like to think about often.

When I went to Gonzaga, all I knew was that I wanted to do something with my life that involved writing. I'd always liked it a lot and my teachers had told me that I was pretty good at it, so it seemed like the area I wanted to go into. However, even though I was only beginning college, I knew that becoming a 'writer' was very difficult. It's not difficult to write, per se, if you like it and you have people who are telling you that you're good at it, but it's hard to make a living at it. That's been true for a while. So I decided that I would probably do better to look into the journalism program, so as to have a specific field to go into, as opposed to majoring in creative writing and just having my degree (and pretty much nothing else specific) waiting for me when I got out.

Then I came home to UNM, and I fell in love with philosophy. And pretty much the exact thing that I'd feared with a pure English degree happened. What kind of market is there for a thinker? I mean, unless I wanted to sit on top of mountains and wait for people to ask me questions... Okay, that's the end of the lame philosophy jokes.

Anyway, philosophy is a topic that I try to think about and integrate into every possible aspect of my life every single day. I try to teach my students about the big questions, not necessarily to answer them, but rather to show them that thinking is its own reward. (At least sometimes.)

When I see videos like Black Button, I like to think that there are people in the world who are still interested in the big questions and that they're doing what they can to advance the topic of us all talking about those things. Again, maybe not to answer those questions, but to prove that they're important enough to be talked about and thought about. I like the fact that a lot of these things, in fact, might be said to not even have answers. Some of the most important questions don't, in my opinion.

And although I didn't necessarily have a job market waiting for me upon graduation, I like to think that I've found a semi-good fit. At least for now, there's nowhere that I'd rather be than teaching young people about the English language in my own way, where I get to decide what we read, what's important and what's not, and, more importantly, I get the chance to rub off on at least one of them per year with the idea that there are things out there in the world that are bigger than themselves that other people aren't thinking about and that those things are worth thinking about.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

a history of violence.

Just got done watching the superb film from 2005 with Viggo Mortensen in it, which was actually an adaptation (a loose one, I find, from reading the Wikipedia page for the film) of a graphic novel.

I first want to say that the more that I see of Viggo (primarily, that being outside of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), the more impressed I am. I watched Eastern Promises the other night as well (my Netflix-ing goes in cycles, as you can clearly see) and it was good. But not as good as this one. I think a lot of credit clearly goes to Croenenberg, who is a masterful director, but Viggo does a lot of the heavy lifting in this film.

A couple notes, upon watching a few of the special features: the distinctions that the MPAA makes between this rating and that, based on some crazily specific things in a handful of scenes really is ridiculous to me. This spurt of blood warrants just an R rating, but that spurt of blood is unacceptable? If they spent more time giving out pamphlets or putting on classes on how to correctly parent children, I think they'd have to worry about what to allow or disallow a lot less. But that's pretty typical for not only a government agency but one that's primary purpose is censorship.

I digress.

The film is amazing, I'm prepared to give it a 9/10 and a hearty recommendation for all those who haven't (at this late point) already seen it. I know I'm late to a lot of these parties, but so are some other people sometimes. So if you haven't done it yet, go check it out.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

on myspace.

Note: Edited to take out a silly portion justifying my silly use of curse words. I'm taking that out, but leaving the entry, because the point still stands.

What kind of crap is this? MySpace appears to be (self-?) censoring links to external sites put up in blogs. What's that about?

I hadn't read at all about this and the only reason I Googled it last night is because as I was posting that last blog over on MySpace (thanks for the easy cross compatibility functions, you wankers!), I noticed that all of my hyperlinks were renamed.

They all start with "msplinks" now and when a person clicks on one, they redirect you to a page that warns you, "You are about to leave MySpace.com" and includes the warning language, "External Link Alert." What is this crap?? Because some tweens and older folk don't know about phishing sites, now every single link on MySpace redirects to their childish warning system? Or is it just mine? Have I done something to anger the MySpace gods? I mean, I know I talk crap about your interface constantly and I even said that I didn't care one way or another about you, but is that a reason to go interfering with my blog?

Oh, I see. It is. Thanks, Web 2.0 Kiss my ass.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

on the war on drugs.

I have a lot of things to say on this topic. But first, I want to point people toward the creators of The Wire's recent article in TIME magazine, wherein they describe how they'll be fighting against it: anytime they're on the jury of a nonviolent drug arrest, they'll move to acquit.

More than just a good idea (hey, look how right we were to call them smart, they even quote and use as back-up Thoreau's Civil Disobedience!), I think it's a good sign on behalf of the times that TIME (no pun or unnecessary word play intended) was willing to publish this article.

Whenever people look at me and ask me how I can be so calm (If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention! What kind of liberal progressive can I be if I'm not foaming at the mouth all the time?!), I always cite the same kind of sobering statistics: overall, literacy is up. Women have rights they didn't two hundred years ago. Blacks have rights they didn't one hundred years ago. One hundred years from now, we'll look at this move to ban gay marriage as archaic and laughable (and, more somberly, shameful). We, as a people, are getting better. I like to think that America is a shining beacon for that 'getting-better-ness' and I like to think that, despite the fact that we've missed a lot of opportunities lately, we're still pretty good at being good. We have less crime, as a whole. We still do good things. We still have Bill Gates, giving back to the community in astronomical figures, getting the realization that somebody has to do it and he has the means, so why not him?

Yes, I know, there are bad things: the war on drugs is one of them. That's right, when I run for office, they'll be able to come back here and pull that quote from my very own writing. But I hope that I'll stand by it (as another man has been standing by his guns recently - and not so recently, let's not forget) because I believe it. Drug abuse is bad. The war on drugs that makes criminals out of people who, in all likelihood, have much more significant problems, is worse. It's a losing battle.

And I'll have more to say about it in the future. But all you need to do is think: would you want your mother or father or son or daughter locked up for a non-violent crime? There are better ways to deal with this.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

on madness.

Brackets came out today. I know it's been a long time since I updated and I have a ton to write about because lots has happened in the meantime but it's not going to be tonight. I have too much on my plate; I'm currently on vacation in San Antonio for the Boston Celtics game and it's been amazing thus far. Don't get me wrong, I loathe Texas, as any blue-blooded American does and should, but the River Walk was pretty right on.

I want to talk about Broken Windows and the theory encapsulated therein and, of course, I've got my picks to make and defend, in regards to the NCAA Tournament. My Zags got screwed, insofar as I don't see them getting past the second round (again...) but the Lobos jacked themselves so I see no reason to complain.

Spring Break is coming up rapidly, my students are finding me on MySpace, they're playing Glory Road on TNT and I traveled all day today; I know I have lots to write about, but it'll have to wait. Sleep is calling.

Monday, March 10, 2008

on failure.

I have to write something, but I'm so depressed right now.

Gonzaga just failed to capture their ninth WCC championship in ten years to the same team that stopped them last time. It's not really such a big deal for GU, since they'll still get into the Big Dance, but St. Mary's had such a good year too and now San Diego's won the automatic bid, it puts other teams that were (are?) on the bubble (notably my home team) into a poor position. Luckily, UNM still has a chance to keep its destiny in its own hands, it's just a bummer.

Also, Feels Like Sunday, a local band with whom I used to hang out a lot, has broken up. It's always a bummer when talented people part company, but I think locals could see this one coming for a while. It's depressing, but not completely unexpected. Doesn't change the sadness, though.

Lastly, on the least important news, I was playing one of the best rap albums of all time (and one of my personal Top 5 - the only hip-hop in there) today at lunch, and two of my favorite students were in there as well, and they were complaining about how it wasn't "good hip-hop." I straight up told them that I forgave them in advance for their silly, stupid opinions simply because of the fact that they were young and ignorant, but that if they continued to be so silly in the future, we'd have definite problems.

Thus concludes my (somewhat) personal and (totally) depressing entry.

Friday, March 7, 2008

on the strength of democrats in november 2008.

According to this SUSA poll, no matter who the nominee is, we win. This is good news in general and it only gets better the more that I've examined it.

The thing about this poll is that it's a state-by-state poll, it looks at the numbers by states and puts those things into a national scene. It's different than a national poll. And that's important for several reasons. The first thing is that on the day of elections, only a handful of people watch the news to see what's happening before they actually go to vote. Regardless of who our nominee is that day, I firmly believe that this poll reveals that things will be going better and better for the Dems as the day of the election progresses. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both win the typical liberal Northeast strongholds and then continue to do well as the election progresses west. Hillary wins Florida (remember, this is all according to this poll!), but both appear amped to win Minnesota and Wisconsin. New Mexico returns to its proud roots as a Democratic state (and, according to this Barack picks up Colorado) before we march on the west coast.

Because of a couple different mitigating factors, the actual delegate count ends up very close between Obama and Clinton, with the man from Illinois only outpacing the former First Lady by 4 delegates. However, I think one of the most important things to notice about this map and this theory and this idea going forward from today until November 4, 2008 is the idea of winning more. It's important to me that the Democrats stop trying to win only the East and Left coasts! And I think it should be important to anyone who considers themselves a liberal as well.

It's not so much that we have to make concessions to the racists in the south as much as we should never go into an election thinking that we're destined to lose a particular region. Sure, there's such a thing as being realistic and it was realistic for Democrats to expect to lose the South for a generation when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. However, that generation has passed. We need to focus on reaching the intelligent people in that region, because there are intelligent people there! I know it's not a great place and, speaking as a proud liberal, a proud Renaissance Man (or at least I hope to think of myself that way), and a proud member of a multi-cultural haven like Albuquerque, New Mexico, I think it's a damn shame that there are parts of the country that want to fly a flag that's filled with blatantly racist history over their state capitals.

I may have deviated from the core subject a bit, but my point remains the same: if liberals (and, by extension, Democrats) want to win elections in the future, it is my firm belief that they need to start focusing on a strategy to win more than just the 'base.' Working on the base got us Joe Lieberman as the VP nod (Hey, thanks for repaying the Party so well in the meantime, Joe!) and put forth the theory that we need to move more toward the center.

It is for this reason that I am endorsing (and voted for in the primary) Barack Obama. I believe that he is a strong candidate and that he will bring about some actual moves towards liberalism and a country-unifying approach not only to elections but to the party as a whole.

on gift cards.

A while ago, I read this tiny blurb in TIME magazine that claimed that stores actually take a loss on gift cards until you spend them. Now I know that in some circles, TIME magazine is considered to not be a very serious magazine, much less a reputable source of academia, but this didn't sit right with me. I'd always heard that stores loved to sell gift cards, mainly because of the nouveau rules attached to so many of them, like if you didn't spend them in x amount of time, they'd expire and then the store would jut make some free money. But this blurb seems to refute that.

Then, yesterday, I read this warning on Get Rich Slowly about the Sharper Image and their recent troubles with gift cards. So which one's accurate?

Any ideas?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

on echo.

So, anyone who knows me knows I used to be a huge Strangers in Paradise fan (wow, it was seriously depressing to visit that board - that place used to be a booming social center of my life back in Senior year of High School and my first two years at Gonzaga) and I just couldn't help myself when I heard the news that Terry Moore was releasing a new comic. I had to give in and buy a copy of Echo, the new book that he's decided to run with.

Upon reading it, I have only a couple things to say:

First of all, he's a hell of an artist. There's no doubt about that. He can draw the heck out of women. However, I couldn't help but see Katchoo and Francine all over this thing. I mean, he made his name on penning and penciling a book about such distinctive characters. And people loved those characters. I mean, those girls (and David) and that book changed a lot of people's lives. And now he's got a new book where the main character looks like a cross between those two girls? I don't think that's the best way to kick-start a new brand.

Secondly, I'm glad that this series is being firmly set here in the present (or maybe even in the future, to be honest) because that was a huge problem with Strangers in Paradise. I'd like to be able to say, "with the end of Strangers in Paradise," but that would be a lie; the issue of a time line was one that steadily destroyed Strangers in Paradise from waaay before the halfway point.

Third, I'm afraid to say that I don't think I really care for the story. I'm glad that Terry's still doing something, I'm glad that he completed his magnum opus (even though interviews that he's given since the series has ended, saying, "It was time to end the story," contradict his own words (sorry, I can't link to the multiple letter columns where he made these claims) that the story's end was firmly in place. This leads me to believe that everything that we (and I do mean that in the most-encompassing sense of the word) were saying about SiP towards the end (namely, that Terry had lost his way, had no idea what he was doing, and had written himself into such a terrible, horrible box) was true.

Lastly, I do think it's worth mentioning that when Terry Moore and Jeff Smith are doing so well, I think it's a good sign for the state of indie comics. And, as with politics, music, movies, and pretty much everything that I like, I think that with comics, the more choice we have, the better things are. When it was just Marvel and DC, it wasn't that great. When Image burst on the scene, it wasn't necessarily a great thing, but it's become better since then. And with more and more publishers gaining national traction on the comic book scene, I think it'll help lead to better production overall.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

on bullets.

So, I have a lot to say. I've kind of been blogging in absentia for a while now and there's a variety of reasons for that (most notably among them: SBA testing and the havoc it wrecks with my [and all teachers'] schedule, not to speak of keeping track of things like the question of who's going to be our next President and trying to score some sweet art while preparing for a friend's way over-due visit) but I do have some things that I want to say. Because I don't have time to say them, I'll bullet-point them here for future reference:

Lots of kids at my work talk about drugs a lot. I know it's a kid thing. But I think it's worth seriously talking about, and it pisses me off that I can't. And I know a lot of the people who look at my situation would say that it's not that I can't talk about it, but that I choose not to. I mean, there's lots of things that I'm not supposed to talk about that I do. But I think the drug issue is one of those things that I shouldn't talk about. (As well as the state/church divide and politics as a force that I'm urging for - but those are issue for another day.)

I know I'm stealing a lot of other people's links in this one, but I figure that's what bullet points are for. If you haven't heard about Nine Inch Nails' new record and how and what they're doing with it yet, this is a good place to start. I'm a big fan of starting with good news. The fact that they've done this at all is good news, but to see them making so much money off of it is literally amazing. One of the biggest reasons that I rebelled against the record companies in the first place was that the artists - the people who were making this music that I loved so much - weren't getting compensated in the way they should be. And now, to see a couple major bands completely throw off the yokes of tyranny and make some of their own money...well, I think it's more important to see from the standpoint of what it will be than what it is right now. I totally hear (and agree with) the complaint that Radiohead and NIN are unfair test subjects, because they have insanely loyal fans. But the fact remains: these people did it. So can others.

And I think that's the major important point to take from this new music explosion that we're seeing: others will follow in these footsteps. Thank God for that.

Additionally, privacy is always something we're concerned about, here at TRLS. The poster that the British police have unveiled might be scary, but thankfully, there are funny people remixing it already. Whenever I think about the fact that London is already one of the areas in the world under the most surveillance already, I get very worried. Things like V for Vendetta don't seem so far-fetched when we almost live in that world already, and then they go and do things like this to make us even more paranoid. It doesn't work out well for the worrier in me, but the optimist always maintains that the people will always have more real power than those in charge, just by nature of numbers.

Regardless, I'm a firm believer in the axiom that if we give in to fear, we're letting them win. They don't hate our freedom, they hate our government and the things that it's done. When we let that same government do those same things to us, we're doing the terrorists jobs for them. It's all a matter of thinking: Who would you rather have in charge? Someone who tells you to always be afraid, or someone who tells you that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself? We've always charged bravely into the areas where there's very little light. When someone puts out the torch, America has never cowered in fear, we've led people to the next source of light! Stop letting this government bully you into being afraid. They are the true enemy.

Last but not least, Brother Numero Uno is going to be putting on an Earth Day Bike Race on Sunday, April 20. You are all officially on notice that you must be there. It will be the greatest bike race ABQ has ever seen. Don't sleep.

But for now, I'm going to eat dinner with the afore-mentioned brother because today when I got home, he was sitting on my couch. And that's one of the small things, but it's one of the small things that matters. Tomorrow I guarantee that I will write about Terry Moore's new comic, Echo - I read it tonight, it was all right; a refreshing change of pace from Strangers in Paradise, but I'm not sure if it'll be my cup of tea.

Monday, March 3, 2008

it's been a long time.

So, today was an interesting day as a long-time Laker fan. I got to read a guy whom I've come to respect a lot over at Free Darko write about Kobe in near-reverential tones and then over at Straight Bangin' I read about Kobe eclipsing MJ as the best ever. Wow, right? Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

I've been dealing with people telling me for years, "Well, I used to like the Lakers, but..." and then inevitably they would say something about Kobe, ranging from calling him a poor teammate, to an asshole, to a rapist. And every time I heard those things, I would bite my tongue and say to myself, "Don't sound like too much of a fan to me." But I didn't say that to them. I would just nod and say, "Yep, I can see that. A lot of people have a lot of different problems with him."

But here's something I never understood: if you were a true Laker fan, if you suffered through the days of Benoit Benjamin and Anthony Peeler, if you really stood by your team when they were terrible...why would you abandon them because of one guy? Especially when that one guy could possibly be the best player in the entire Association? That doesn't seem like a true fan to me. It doesn't seem like the way my cousins raised me, cheering for teams with no namers hustling out there, sometimes taking a lead and ultimately throwing away game after game after game. I sat there and had my heart broken by those teams, and when Kobe and Shaq came to the team, it felt like vindication. Like I had put in my time, and people had dogged on me for liking a team that was past its prime and I finally got to say, "Told you so!"

And now...again. People are writing and talking about the Lakers as though they're the team to beat. And I think that might be a bit premature, but I'm just saying, it feels good to be on that side again.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

on harry osborn.

Last night I read Ultimate Spider-Man 117, the conclusion to the 'Return of the Goblin' arc and I have to say, it was amazing. I've been off the train of Ultimate Spider-Man (and Brian Michael Bendis in general) lately, but this was one touching issue. (For what it's worth, this issue came out three months ago, so I figure I'm not spoiling anyone, but if you haven't read it yet and want to save some special surprise, stop reading now!) It wasn't really surprising to see Harry die when he tried to go up against his Dad (Norman Osborn) but that wasn't the point. The point was that when he killed him, Norman realized what he'd done and asked the officers of SHIELD to kill him. (A request which they complied with, happily, given what he'd done in the past and the amount of time and money he'd cost them recently.) And then, when all was said and done, there was no more Norman (although it's debatable about whether he'll return to the Ultimate Universe) and there was no more Harry.

At one point, this was also the status of the so-called 616 Universe. Spider-Man (Peter Parker) was best friends with Harry Osborn. Harry Osborn's father was Norman Osborn, who was also known as the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin was (and is again, thanks to the magic of returning from the dead and ret-cons up the wazoo) Spider-Man's most deadly enemy. He killed Gwen Stacy - an event that has haunted Spidey since it happened and he knew that Peter and Spider-Man were one and the same. Norman was a bad, bad guy, and when he died, it put Peter in a bad place regarding his friendship with Harry. But Harry and Peter's friendship persevered...until Harry cracked and became the new Green Goblin.

This was an amazing development for the Spider-Man series, it was great, it put an entirely new twist on everything that had come before and it gave a great new tension to the events that would unfold every single month in his books.

Then, not quite so suddenly, Harry died. It was a glorious death, full of everything that you'd want from comic books, full of Shakespearean themes, full of great rewards for Spider-Man fans who'd been reading the book for many years. It stood out in the Spidey mythos for a long, long time, being held up as an example of good story-telling, logical progression of a fictional character, etc. And I applauded it personally, both as a Spider-fan and as an enthusiast of the fiction (and comic book) genre.

Now, as I've written about before, Harry's back, thanks to the One More Day storyline. In a deal that had absolutely nothing to do with him at all, Mephisto brought him back from the dead, as a 'twist' on the deal to save Aunt May by taking Peter and Mary Jane's marriage. Yeah, great twist. It's definitely a punishment for Peter (I mean, in addition to the stupid deal that he made) to bring back his best friend. Additionally, this has the added bonus of getting rid of a story that most Spider-fans truly adored. Wise move, Joe Q. (As always.)

So, what's the point here? I started by talking about Ultimate Spider-Man and I devolved into talking about 616 Spidey. My point is this: the story of Harry Osborn's death was a great one in both cases. When I was a child, and I read the story of 616 Harry's death, it had an emotional impact upon me. I remembered that story for a long time, simply because it meant a lot and I was a young, impressionable person. But this death might have meant more to me, simply because I'm a more discerning reader now and I know more about genre and comic books in particular. It was more visceral to me.

And all the while, all I could think was this: this doesn't mean anything. Nothing in comics does. It's a pointless genre. Why should I care about the emotional impact of a story, why should I invest myself, why should I shed tears when a character that I've known and loved for a handful of years died if I know that x amount of years from that story, some asshole Editor in Cheif is just going to come along and say, "No, those stories were bad, we're going to change everything to the way it was before." What's the point of getting involved with a character if I know that character's not going anywhere?

That's not telling a story. That's not responsible writing. That's just children pretending to do something that they don't even understand.