56 – Espionage

coverblackRecorded September 16th. “I’m a spy.”  Examining espionage and intelligence topics in these films for insights into raising Clark undercover.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • I. Wonder Woman (3:36 – 22min)
    • Strategy, Operations, Tactics
    • Scout and Spy Differences
    • Psychopathic Spies
    • Pragmatism vs. Idealism
    • Adapting and Flexibility
    • Alleyway Ambush
    • Etta’s Mission & Cold War
  • II. Batman v. Superman (25:55 – 26min)
    • Weaponize Intelligence Tools
    • Invisibility Corrupts
    • CIA prohibitions on cover identities
    • Drones
    • Government Track Record with Lois
  • III. Suicide Squad (52:45 – 9min)
    • Black Sites
    • MICE
  • IV. Man of Steel (1:01:01 – 32min)
    • Doing Something
    • Deliberate Wise Inaction
    • DADA / OODA Loop
    • Inaction Demonstrating Trust
    • Ring of Gyges
    • Incorruptible Undercover
    • Overview Effect
  • V. Footnotes (1:33:36 – 23min)
    • Watchmen
    • Melian Dialogue by Thucydides
    • Church Steeple Trenchline
    • Agent Talon Tries To Bait Amajagh
    • G-LOC
    • Lois Shows Trust
    • Meaning over Happiness

To learn more (Abridged, will update):
SpyCast | International Spy Museum
Way of the Knife | Mark Mazzetti
Sudden Justice | Chris Woods
The Ostrich Effect | Hidden Brain
The Science of Invisibility | Part Time Genius

End notes recorded September 30th
Thucydides: Melian Dialogue | Rugged Pyrrhus
Secret Agent Man | Johnny Rivers cover

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
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#NYCC #JusticeLeague

Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 18

The audio is recorded but I’m still trying to “find the episode” in it.  I’ve tried 3 different assembly cuts which are different degrees of disappointing.  It’s only after I get an arrangement I like do I do the detailed edits, add in clips, and prepare notes for my endnotes recording session (where I record the intro, transitions, and endnotes).  I tried to get the episode out in September (and beat the next trailer) but I’m not going to make it.  We’re attending a birthday and a wedding this weekend and Comic Con next weekend, so I’m not sure when this is going to get done.

No time to editorialize or explain the following links, I promise they’re all slightly salient somewhere in the recesses of my mind.

Episode 56: Espionage.  Steve Trevor the spy, Amanda Waller the intelligence officer, Anatoli Knayzev the KGBeast in a CIA op gone wrong, and Clark Kent raised undercover.

55 – Magician

coverblackRecorded August 3rd. “The magical thinking of orphan boys.”  Batman the magician.

[I finally get to do an episode about Batman, so it’s long.]

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • I. Magic and Batman Tradition (25min)
    • Houdini the superman
    • Zatara in Acton Comics No. 1
    • Stage Act similarity
    • Perfection of Self
    • Working Definition of Magic
      • Artful Performance
      • Of the Impossible
    • Trained by Giovanni Zatara
    • Batman’s performance
  • II. Magic of Movie Making (8min)
    • Georges Méliès
    • Robert Houdan
    • Larry Fong on the illusion of movies
    • Terrio, Nolan, Fong
    • Fong Super 8 Featurette
    • The Wizard
  • III. This Batman is a Magician (12min)
    • Beautiful Lie
    • Mozart of Deception
    • Lies and Child Development
    • Theory of Mind and Self Control
    • Orphan Boys and Magical Thinking
    • Many Magic Tricks of This Batman
    • Impossibility of Magic and Logic
    • It was always a trick
    • Disappearing in Belle Reeve
    • First and Last Batman scenes
    • Lex’s Magical Props
  • IV. Spellbound (40min)
    • Mind the Gap
    • Load Up
    • Write the Script
    • Control the Frame
    • Design Free Choice
    • Employ the Familiar
    • Conjure an Out
  • V. Force (20min)
    • Magic Words: Luck, Fake, Watching, Force
    • Two Meanings of Force
    • Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
    • Accept the World or Force It… Recognize or Save It
    • Free Will and Force, Martha
    • Batman Transformed and Self-Deprecating
    • The Silent Accusation
    • Superman returns
  • VI. End Notes (15min)
    • Miscellaneous

To learn more:
Beyond Magic | David Blaine
It’s A Trap! | Justice League Action
Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man | John Kasson
Secret Life of Houdini | Kalush & Sloman
What is the Art of Magic? | Lawrence Hass
Blaine: How I Held My Breath for 17 Minutes | TED
Super 8: Abrams on Big Lessons of Small Budgets | Hero Complex
Spellbound | David Kwong
The Carbonaro Effect | Michael Carbonaro
AOM #306: Magic Teaches Success | David Kwong
Blaine Shocks Jimmy & The Roots | Tonight Show
Mentalist Lior Suchard Bends Alice Eve’s Mind | Late Late Show
The Grift | Maria Konnikova
Ep. 65 – David Berglas | The Magicians’ Podcast
Petter Johansson – Decision and Choice Making | Media Evo
Math Magic | VSauce
Mind-Boggling Card Trick | standupmaths
Oil and Water | STEMMathsMagic
Black Box | RadioLab
TED Talks on Magic | TED

End notes recorded August 8th
Beyond Magic with DMC | NatGeoUK
Death Trap | Harris & DeLisle
Who’s The (Bat)Man | Patrick Stump

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
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Less than 100 days ’til #JusticeLeague

54 – Justice League SDCC 2017 Trailer

coverblackRecorded July 22nd. “We don’t have anymore time.”  Really rushed reactions on the 4-minutes of Justice League footage from San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Exclusive Trailer / Sneak Peek.

To learn more:
Old Bailey
The Shard
Tower Bridge
Greco-Roman Polychromatic Art
Chernobyl
Gal Gadot on Superman in Justice League
Geoff Johns on DC Films slate
Jurassic Park Iconic Water Effect

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
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#allin #justiceleague #WBSDCC #SDCC2017 #I❤️ZS

Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 17

You know the drill by now.  This is where I tell you that there’s no new episode yet because of everything else going on.  [We have a girl! 7lbs 11.6oz!]

Here and there, I have been chipping away at an episode recorded before Wonder Woman.  The original theme was “decision making” on who Clark consults in Man of Steel (and who he doesn’t) and BvS… then loosely tied that to the lack of communication in the Trinity fight.  I made the decision to split out the Doomsday fight and both parts became thematically stronger.  One episode on seeking counsel and a Doomsday fight analysis.  The latter made more martial, I started to weave in some insights from martial history and philosophy which made it balloon again!  The whole point was to cut down the episode to reduce production… not to double the ideas and effort!

Unfortunately, looking at my next few weeks, I literally don’t know when I’ll have time to work on any of this to a publishable state.  That said, I’d like to get in an informal SDCC reaction if possible, maybe padding it out with unanswered listener questions still sitting in my notes.  So hopefully see you in about a week!

Some RRSSS for your consideration:

read more

53 – Wonder Woman

coverblackRecorded June 9th. “Worth cherishing in every way.”  Reacting to Wonder Woman and answering some in-story questions.

[Regarding this episode… “Eh, it’s not for everyone.”]

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • I. Logos (22min)
    • What if a child…?
    • Cherishing in every way
    • Mythos and Logos
    • Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
    • Accessibility
    • Jenkins’s Emotional Lens
  • II. Bedtime Story (6min)
    • Confounding Clouds
    • Diana’s Bedtime Story Framework
  • III. Questions (70min)
    • How old is Diana?
    • Can Diana return to Themyscira?
    • Why didn’t they tell Diana the truth?
    • Why didn’t they go with Diana?
    • Did she want to leave earlier?
    • When did Diana develop powers?
    • Why did Ares reveal himself?
    • How does the lasso work?
    • How did Ares defeat the Olympians?
    • Why didn’t Ares destroy mankind sooner?
    • What does Ares want?
    • What is love?
    • Is Ares the source of mankind’s corruption?
    • Does seeing Ares change Diana’s belief?
    • Does Diana love Ares? Why kill him?
    • Why doesn’t Diana reveal herself after World War I?
    • Did Diana walk away from mankind?
    • What did Diana do for 100 years?
    • What moves Diana to act?
    • Why does Diana fight Doomsday?
    • Why doesn’t she have the same powers in that fight?
    • Why does Diana finally go public?
  • IV. End Notes (35min)
    • Is Ares dead?
    • Why doesn’t Steve do something different with the plane?

To learn more:
Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of | Sharon Gosling
Wonder Woman Novelization | Nancy Holder
From Poly to Mono, Mythos to Logos | Evan Puschak
103 Desirability Bias | You Are Not So Smart
Five Ages of Man | Wikipedia
8 Types of Love Ancient Greeks | Mateo Sol
Color Wheel Theory of Love | Wikipedia
Reality Part One | Invisibilia
Treehouse of Horror X | The Simpsons
772 Small Change | Planet Money
How to Use Rhetoric | Camille Langston
Strike Me Down | Return of the Jedi (1983)
True From A Certain Point of View | Robot Chicken
A Better Way To Talk About Love | Mandy Len Catron
Constitutional Peasants | Monty Python
The Princess Bride | Rob Reiner

End notes recorded June 23rd
Canterbury Tales | pronuntiatio
Fæder Ure | Hrothgar Simonus
The Wisdom Series | Bible Project
Raise Brave Girls, Encourage Adventure | Caroline Paul
Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection | Reshma Saujani
Professor Robert Sapolsky on Altruism | Big Think
Philosophy of Stoicism | TED Ed
Why I Broke Up With The Little Mermaid | Jesse Eisenberg
Storybook Love Cover | 24getful1

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
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144 days ’til #JusticeLeague

“I Walked Away From Mankind” Explained

Thesis

Diana is not saying, “I rejected humanity and condemn them for their division.”
She’s saying, “I spared them my divinity because it doesn’t work with their division.”

Defining The Controversy

I continue to see confusion about the sequence of events and statements, so to make it explicitly clear: Diana defeats Ares, then [by her own timeline] she walks away from mankind, she fights Doomsday, and she tells Bruce she walked away, Bruce sends her the original photo, and it is then that Wonder Woman says, “So I stay, I fight, and I give for the world I know can be.  This is my mission now.  Forever.”  Before leaping into the light in our time.

We have no explicit indication that she has been doing this between defeating Ares and defeating Doomsday other than her statement that she’s killed “things”- plural- from other “worlds”- again plural- before.  So Diana’s last lines in Wonder Woman come after Dawn of Justice and are not in contradiction with BvS.  Anything based on the last lines is a comprehension error and not a contradiction.

However, contradiction can still be alleged based on the explicit statement that Diana believes in love… and the general idea or attitude that she is an irrepressible activist.

Concisely, “If you love, you can’t walk away.” and/or “Heroes can’t walk away.”

read more

52 – Fantasy

coverblackRecorded May 13th.  Fantasy, faith, magic, & myth.  J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, The Great War, and Wonder Woman.  Middle Earth, Narnia, creating compelling fantasy, approaches to criticism, and overcoming disillusionment.

60 Year Old Spoiler Warning: Ending of The Lord of the Rings and portions of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

[Note: Not really a Wonder Woman episode, a companion to the last episode.  Next few episodes are more DC, less literary history.]

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • I. J.R.R. Tolkien (Life)
    • Orphan, Catholic, genius
    • Popular, rugby captain, acting
    • Languages, artist, marriage
    • World War I, Battle of the Somme
    • Philology
    • Beowulf scholarship
    • “On Fairy Stories”
  • II. Secondary World (Depth)
    • References condense information
    • Recall a dragon or a Robin, no citation
    • References are inherent and ubiquitous
    • Broken references organic and immersive
    • Irony, Immersion, or Identification
    • Tolkien reverse engineering patina of myth
    • Tolkien’s perfectionism
    • Superman as myth
    • DC Films epic depth in world-building
  • III. Outcasts Bond Over Obscure Interests (Friends)
    • Tolkien meets Lewis
    • Siegel meets Shuster
    • Lewis encourages Tolkien’s writings
    • Lewis’s life, atheism, studies, service
    • Connection, fellowship, encouragement
    • The Inklings
  • IV. Approach to Criticism (Reaction)
    • Critical response to The Lord of the Rings
    • Stigma of fantasy and superheroes
    • Creating stories with conscious purpose
    • Wonder Woman as psychological propaganda
    • Academic intellectual dishonesty
    • “An Experiment on Criticism”
    • Surrender, reading well, repeat readings
  • V. Disillusionment (Lies)
    • Tolkien & Lewis are counter-cultural and subversive
    • Unrealistic optimism at start of the war
    • H.G. Wells: “The War That Will End War”
    • Ways Wonder Woman could be disillusioned
    • Disillusionment after World War I
    • Fantasy as recapturing immaterial wonder
    • Good, evil, and corruption in fantasy
    • Eucatastrophe, Frodo fails, divine grace
    • Corruption in these DC films
    • Reality and realism as cure
    • Fantasy to represent magic of the familiar
    • Tolkien & Lewis believe in heroism
  • VI. Resonance (Truth)
    • Tolkien & Lewis differences didn’t divide
    • Tolkien & Lewis didn’t discriminate against works
    • Openness to Wonder Woman, picking at differences
    • Looking for truth and resonance over heresy and imperfection
    • Seeing unappreciated value, Planet Narnia
    • Imagination and emotions before intellect and allegory
    • Watchful Dragons
    • Applied to the Wonder Woman mythos
      • Secrets, Truth, Beauty, Subversion, War, Myth, Wonder

To learn more:
Myths and Legends Podcast | Jason Weiser
What is Myth? | Crash Course Mythology
Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics | J.R.R. Tolkien
On Fairy-Stories | J.R.R. Tolkien
Battle of the Somme | Wikipedia
David S. Goyer Talks Man of Steel | Collider
A Film Portrait of JJR Tolkien (1996) | Landseer
Tolkien and the Great War | John Garth
An Experiment in Criticism | C.S. Lewis
A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War | Joseph Loconte
The Secret History of Wonder Woman | Jill Lepore
Walter Hooper: Life of C.S. Lewis | Socrates Society
Planet Narnia | Michael Ward
The Narnia Code | BBC
The Narnia Code | Michael Ward
Ursala K. Le Guin on Tolkien | Talk of the Nation
Superheroes Decoded | History
End notes recorded May 16th
The Bridge of Khazad Dum | Howard Shore
Wonder Woman | The Bombsters

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers

#WonderWoman