51 – First Contact

coverblackRecorded March 13th and 20th. First contact, ship detection and landing, Zod’s ultimatum, The War of the Worlds, and The Wizard of Oz.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • I. First Contact
  • As an intended approach
  • Guidelines for what counts
  • Prior in-story contacts
  • Detecting Kal’s vessel and landing
  • Military response and suppression
  • Ultimatum questions
  • “Are we alone in the universe?”
  • Winston Churchill
  • II. War of the Worlds – The Book
  • H.G. Wells and Jules Verne
  • Man versus the mechanized future
  • Superman terraforming Earth
  • Superman’s arc enabling The League
  • Man as animal
  • Panic and fragility
  • Human heroes overcoming instinct
  • III. War of the Worlds – The Broadcast
  • 1938 Orson Welles broadcast
  • Halloween public panic
  • Press exaggerated story
  • Fake news, virality, and creative control
  • Real public panics
  • Humbling humanity
  • Myopia and normalizing the extraordinary
  • IV. First Impressions
  • Lois Lane and handshakes
  • Pete picking up the tab
  • Definitions, Apologetics, and “Yucatan”
  • Selling Superman
  • Judgment, taste, and capacity
  • Clark is more able than we see
  • Superman is more human than we know
  • V. Wizard of Oz
  • Similarities to Superman and BvS
  • Hero’s Journey and circular story
  • Flexible and open to interpretation
  • Explicit Oz references
  • As an allegory for populism
  • VI. Application
  • Academic scholarship
  • Fandom good for empathy
  • Superheroes inspire altruism
  • Science fiction, escapism, and reality

To learn more:
The War of the Worlds 1938 broadcast | Orson Welles
American Experience: War of the Worlds | PBS
War of the Worlds | RadioLab
Big Picture Science | SETI Institute
Churchill Ordered UFO Cover-Up | BBC
Churchill Essay on Aliens | NY Times
Should Humans Try To Contact Alien Civilizations? | Motherboard
Don’t Panic | WNYC
How the Panic Broadcast Really Went Down | Michigan Radio
American Icons: Wizard of Oz | Studio 360
The Wizard of Oz | TED Ed
Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy | Louis C.K.
God, The Universe and Everything Else (1988) | BBC
Does Smiling Make You Happier? | HowStuffWorks
Power Poses Work – Amy Cuddy | TED
Power Poses Are False (replication crisis) | Fortune
Are Fandoms Good or Unhealthy? | SciShow Psych
How Harry Potter Turns You Into A Wizard | SciShow Psych
Always take social science studies with a grain of salt.

End-notes (recorded on March 23rd):
Superman: War of the Worlds (2000, Elseworlds) | Lark
Planet of Oz | SuperFriends
Warner Bros. v. AVELA | 8th Circuit
H.G. Wells meets Orson Welles (1940) | KTSA
Superman Meets Orson Welles (1950) | Superman #62
Somewhere Over The Rainbow A Wonderful World | Kamakawiwoʻole
Go The Distance Defying Gravity | Kick Full

Justice League Universe Podcast:
Interview with Clay Enos – Appreciating intention and interpretation
Batman v. Superman Anniversary Special – Value fans get from BvS

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
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  1. Thanks for dedicating your precious time for the podcast Doc. It’s great to hear your analysis on MOS again. I have been listening to earlier episodes and you have become a lot more… professional. I have noticed you lowered your tone and become more fluent, almost like you are reading from a script in front of you. The difference is almost night and day. Could you please share with us what has changed? And of course, your brief comment on the Justice League trailer please, especially the lack of Superman. I hope you will have time to do a whole episode about Wonder Woman and Justice League before its release in November. (Finger Cross)

    • Haha, I’m often tempted to delete or redo my earlier episodes, but I think they serve to show ANYONE can do this and should try if they want to. I want people to try because I want more voices out there and am sincerely honored the incredible JLU Podcast was at least a little inspired. I want people to say, “I could do that, I could do BETTER than that… I SHOULD do that!” Haha. It’s a real pleasure to hear all the new podcasts that have sprung up since.

      Early on, I just knew I had something to say about MOS but didn’t know what would connect… the website forum, articles, videos, or the podcast… so I just tried a bunch of stuff. The videos are probably the most effective but also where my vision way outstrips my abilities and resources. Even if I bought a new computer and a software suite, I can’t afford to take the time to learn Motion Graphics, After Effects, Premiere, etc.

      So the podcast is where I can put the most production value and approach what I imagine.

      Regarding the voice, it’s a change in posture, mic distance, and having to talk WAY more during the day now due to changes at work and home. Basically, that’s my “tired” voice, haha. I still do everything bare bones. A $25 USB mic, cheap laptop, and free Audacity. Again, anyone can do it! I used to be much more spontaneous with my notes, but that would quadruple my edit time taking out rambling and potentially requiring retakes. My scheduled changed so that I couldn’t do retakes… so I have more explicit notes now, which is supposed to limit takes… the problem now is that I end up recording much more material than I ever end up using… so the edit is still long trying to figure what will or won’t make the episode.

      I SHOULD just write a script, but I like “discovering” the transitions on the fly when I’m at the mic… it carries into my work and has made me a better litigator. Anyways, didn’t mean to write so much, this is a rare Monday without court. I’ve got some ideas on how to approach WW and JL, hope I have time to do them too!

  2. Yes Doc, can’t wait to listen​. And still waiting for that Jor-El end game episode 🙂

  3. Wow! After the JL trailer last week, a brand new episode of MOSAIC this one feels like an unexpected double blessing! Thank you for the great work Doc! I shall share some impressions after I listen to it!

  4. Hey doc, long time listener. I just finished my piece on the deconstruction of superman in BvS on a new blog. Swing by and take a look and let me know what you think if you can. I would appreciate it
    Note: might still be some grammar issues since I haven’t had anyone proof read it besides myself.

    • That was a very good article! I’ve also seen several people make parallels between Superman and Dr. Manhattan, but I seldom see it as a negative comparison. Most simply depict how both were occasionally hailed as deities of some sort.

      Hope you won’t mind if I share it with other people, everyone should read this.

  5. @ 15:21 This occurred to me a few years ago while re-watching Beast Wars where stasis pods containing the Cybertronian protoforms would safely land on Earth without crashing, provided they weren’t damaged during the descent.

  6. So I’ve recently heard that ‘Suicide Squad’ is ahead of both ‘Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Civil War’ in home media sales. Looks like another great win for DC Films! Here’s to ‘Wonder Woman’ topping those numbers even further.

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