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

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
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

Unite.

50 – Endgame

coverblackRecorded January 27th.  “I don’t know how to lose.”  Sports and football in these films and how it informs Clark’s character.  Issues with Lex’s endgame and how it reflects his psychology.  Learning how to lose.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • I. Sports
  • Sports as a part of culture
  • Is Clark a sports fan?  The cliché versus the evidence
  • Qualifications of a sports writer
  • Priorities over fandom, diversions, and leisure
  • How does Clark view sports given his abilities?
  • Is Zack Snyder a sports fan?
  • What was the Metropolis State vs. Gotham City fight about?
  • The Quarterback Kneel controversy
  • What does that controversy illustrate?
  • II. Lex’s Endgame
  • Was Lex just a fanatic in the end?
  • Lex’s doomsday perspective and plan
  • Why the Doomsday plan has holes
  • Lex putting his life at risk to Superman, military response, and Doomsday
  • Why Lex uses his blood to create Doomsday
  • Why Lex doesn’t try to get away with his endgame
  • The Origin of Lex Luthor
  • Lex has hope in his last scene
  • III. Losing
  • Illustrating a few principles
    • For anyone trying, failure is inevitable not identity
    • Embrace iteration instead of a God Complex
    • Review your endgame and have others check it
    • Persistence and resilience
  • Expect setbacks, embrace the journey with patience, anticipate tomorrow hopefully
  • UCLA Coach John Wooden

Examples of Superman lacking omniscience:

  • Lois can’t get information to him in time
  • Lois can’t find him after the bombing
  • Lois can’t summon him at will in Nairomi
  • Lois can hide the bullet from him
  • Lois doesn’t whisper under her breath behind the barricade
  • Lois doesn’t call out for him on the helipad
  • Lois is surprised that he catches her
  • Lois explicitly says he couldn’t see the bomb
  • Lois uncovers the plot he didn’t know
  • Martha doesn’t cry for him while kidnapped
  • Martha doesn’t scream for him in the warehouse
  • Lex knows he can kidnap Lois & Martha
  • Lex knows he can keep them from Superman’s senses
  • Batman relies on the element of surprise in his attacks
  • Clark learns of the hearings from Lois
  • Clark learns of Kahina and Keefe from the news
  • Clark learns of the factory fire from the news
  • Clark learns of the Batman’s brutality from the news
  • Clark learns what the talking heads are saying from the news
  • Superman demands to know “Where is she?”

To learn more:
Sports Fan Polling | Gallup
How Obsessive are Sports Fans | CBS
An Egghead’s Guide to the Super Bowl | Freakonomics
Nerds & Jocks Think They’re The Underdog | CollegeHumor
Sportsmanship: What’s Expected In Football | NPR
Cam is Superman, Snyder Interview | AOL
Ruby-Spears Superman | CBS
The Power and the Glory | NFL Films
Wicked problem | Wikipedia
John Wooden | Wikipedia
Such A Loser | Garfunkel & Oates

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

Another three-parter released as one episode.  Enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.

49 – Breath

coverblackRecorded October 8 and 21.  The breath powers: history, science, and creative implications.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • History:
  • Is super breath its own power?
  • First instances of super breath in the comics
  • First instance of cold breath in the comics
  • Adoption in adaptations
  • Science:
  • How breathing works
    • Basics
    • Applying strength
    • World record techniques
  • Does super breath implicate cold breath necessarily?
    • Extinguishing fire
      • Fire triangle / tetrahedron
      • Vapor as fuel
    • Cooling hot stuff
      • Thermodynamics
      • Cold is not a property
    • Blowing on your hand
      • Unreliable sensation
      • Alternative explanation
    • Gas cooling catch-all
      • Mathematical limitations
      • Absolute Zero
      • Absolute Hot
      • Freezing air
      • Gas heat transfer
  • Creative:
  • Magical Thinking
  • Story reasons for the power
  • Story reasons against the power
  • Is it okay to question stories?
  • Investing in reality for stories
  • Truth catching up to fiction
  • Science in fiction
  • Teachable attitudes and interactions
  • Magic and fantasy another time

…and much more!

Sources:
Science of Superman (2006) | Warner Home Video
Nonexistent Objects Imaginary Worlds- Crash Course #29
Breathe! | Glenn Wolkenfeld
Great Wakkorotti | Animaniacs
Brian Jackson | Stan Lee’s Superhumans
Circular Breathing | Wikipedia
Only Vapors Burn 1947 Chemistry of Fire | US War Dept.
Liquid Nitrogen Grease Fire | Cody’s Lab
The Physics of The Impossible (2008) | Michio Kaku
First and Second Law of Thermodynamics | Flanders & Swann
Why does heat transfer from hot to cold? | Fact Tap
Substance of Silence | Stuff to Blow Your Mind
How Entropy Powers The Earth | Minute Physics
Misconceptions About Heat | Veritasium
What Is One Degree? | BBC
Why Is My Breath Hot? | Ask Science
Absolute Zero – Absolute Awesome | SciShow
What Does Liquid Nitrogen Do To Your Face | Grant Thompson
The Physics of Heat- Crash Course Physics #22
How Iceman Is Actually a Bomb! | Nerdist
Magical Thinking | Imaginary Worlds
Supergods | Grant Morrison
26 Facts on Family | Mental Floss
No. of questions kids ask daily | Duck Quacks Don’t Echo
Testimonials | Science & Entertainment Exchange
Aesthetics- Crash Course Philosophy #31
Superman The High Flying History (2012) | Larry Tye
Thermodynamics of Love (2009) | David Ng
Negative Temperatures are Hot | Sixty Symbols
Superman Memory Crystals | Physics World
The Science of Superman (2002) | Mark Wolverton
The Science of Superheroes (2002) | Gresh & Weinberg
The Science of Supervillains (2005) | Gresh & Weinberg
The Physics of Superheroes (2005) | James Kakalios
Superhero Powers Explained | University of Leicester

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

I’m aware of the no-communication theorem regarding spooky action.

Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 15

Update: I’m still alive and still working on the podcast.  There has just been several other good priorities and diversions over the show lately.

The next episode is about 2/3rds there.  I’ve got the history and the science.  I still have to finalize the squishy human-stuff.

Great new responsibilities mean I’ve got less and less time, but still plugging away.  Some RRSSS for your consideration:

Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice Analysis | MediaMatters

MOSAIC Episode 49 will be out “when it’s done” but hopefully before the end of this month.

48 – Amanda Waller

coverblackRecorded August 22nd.  “What are you really up to?”  The premise behind Task Force X as historically plausible.  Amanda Waller’s sales pitch and intentions.  FAQ run down.

You notice these are criminals?  They’re psychotic antisocial freaks.  It makes no sense . . . I mean, you need real soldiers.  Not these scumbags . . . What are you really up to?

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Amazing Amanda Waller execution
  • The Voice of God
  • Sympathy for the Devil
  • Weird weapons of war
  • Project Habakkuk (ice ship) and Project X-Ray (bat bombs)
  • David and Goliath and military innovation
  • White House Situation Room
  • What was pitched and what was actually bought
  • People avoid uncertainty but actually like it
  • Military Mafia connection
  • Unethical human testing
  • Why not heroes or soldiers
  • Waller and Enchantress
  • History of WMD management
  • The Dirty Dozen and Filthy Thirteen
  • Roy Benavidez

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can this Squad stop Superman?
  • What is the purpose of the rest of the Squad?
  • What use is Harley?  Boomerang?  Killer Croc?  Slip Knot?
  • What is Waller really up to?
  • Why is Katana on the Squad?
  • What is the Squad’s purpose generally?
  • Why aren’t elite soldiers satisfactory to Waller?
  • What is the Squad’s mission specifically?
  • Who shot down the first helicopter?
  • Why would you send another helicopter?
  • Why was GQ and his men on this mission?
  • Don’t they compromise the Squad’s covert status?
  • Isn’t this expending soldiers for the Squad?
  • Wouldn’t two squads of soldiers be better?
  • Why couldn’t conventional soldiers win if bombs are effective?
  • Why weren’t the supernatural siblings more effective?
  • How did Deadshot set off the C4?
  • Why did Bruce need Waller’s files?
  • Where was The Flash?
  • Why didn’t Waller destroy the heart immediately?
  • Why didn’t Waller guard Enchantress more carefully?

To learn more:
Fighting Fire With Fire | Wikipedia
Project X-Ray (bat bomb) | Wikipedia
Project Habakkuk (ice ship) | Wikipedia
War In Heaven | Wikipedia
Penal Military Units | Wikipedia
The Dirty Dozen (1967) | IMDb
White House Situation Room | Wikipedia
Lucky Luciano’s deal | Wikipedia
Unethical human experimentation | Wikipedia
Command & Control | Eric Schlosser
Filthy Thirteen | Wikipedia
MSgt. Roy Benavidez | Wikipedia

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

A special first-draft since I’m away for the next month!  So here’s the “assembly cut” in lieu of dividing it into three polished episodes.

47 – Suicide Squad

coverblackRecorded August 12th.  “Don’t worry, I still love you.”  Suicide Squad, love & hate, critics, demographics, and punk rock.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Suicide Squad art book the best yet
  • Expectations first viewing
  • Loving and not liking without contradiction
  • Kevin Smith’s commitment
  • “Anarchic punk rock art movie”
  • Audience demographics opening week
  • 81% of African Americans and Hispanics gave the film a positive score
  • 76% of audience members under age 35 gave the film a positive score
  • Batson Rule of jury selection applied to RT Top Critics
  • Gender demographics of critics
  • Giving critics appropriate weight
  • Punk rock history
    • Universal yearning
    • Punk vs. Prog Rock
    • Ayer’s punk-like courage
    • Sincerity and reality
    • Rebellion threatens establishment
    • Diversity
    • Improvisation and inspiration
    • Effort, blood, sweat, and tears
    • Commercialization
    • Ayer built a family
    • Recognition over time
  • Gladwell on Cézanne
  • Marjorie Lui on diversity in comics

…and much more!

Interview with David Ayer | Empire
5 Reasons Why Suicide Squad Stayed At The Box Office | Meriah Doty
Suicide Squad Is The Most Diverse Superhero Cast Yet | Graphiq
You Don’t Own Me ft. G-Eazy | Grace
Rock & Roll – Punk (1995) | PBS
Episode 7: Hallelujah | Revisionist History
Marjorie Liu’s Monstress Pushes the Boundaries | New Yorker
“Naughty” – Matilda The Musical | Tim Minchin

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

I’m aware that “anarchic punk rock” is its own sub-genre within punk.  😛

46 – Monument

coverblackSegments originally recorded March 29th, April 30th, and July 19th.  Heroes Park monument, memorial, and the Superman statue.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Motif of monuments, memorials, and memory throughout the film
  • The Superman statue as political expedience
  • A scar on the city
  • National September 11 Memorial parallels
  • Remember the city as it was, incorporating the city
  • Impact of Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Maya Lin’s design, intention, and overcoming criticism
  • The certainty of youth
  • Chronological listing of names
  • Names as a meaningful abstraction
  • Symbols of the Wall
  • Criticism over abstraction and ambiguity
  • Critics can turn anything into a controversy
  • Critics upset over the unexpected and unconventional
  • Public grieving changed by Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Accessibility of art beyond the directly connected and invested
  • Interpretation and understanding increasing appreciation of art
  • Benefits of wonder and awe
  • The pose, humility, and abstraction of the statue
  • Do heroes have to be known or perfect to get a monument?
  • Wallace Keefe’s objections to the statue
  • Monuments versus the fluidity of history
  • Keefe’s arrest as the central statement
  • Superman’s feelings about the statue, being put on a pedestal

…and much more!

Sorry, I don’t have access to Doc’s notes.  He’ll update the show notes with links after Suicide Squad.

Time Out Shortlist Metropolis & Gotham | Dan Wallace (editor)
Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film | Peter Aperlo
Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1982 | Smarthistory
American Icons: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial | Studio 360
Maya Lin and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial | Rear Window
Hidden Brain: Great Vacations and Awe | NPR
Heroes are good – let’s make statues of them | Nikolas Lloyd
ISIS destroys ancient artifacts in Mosul | CBS
A History of Controversial Monuments | Eveline van Rijswijk

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

8/8 – Thanks to H.H. for publishing the episode and moderating the site!

45 – Ultimate Edition

coverblackRecorded July 9th, less than 12 hours after viewing.  First impressions to the Ultimate Edition of Batman v. Superman (via VUDU) after one continuous play through, skimming some extras, and going back to pause at select points.

Apologies in advance for the rambling sure to come!  Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Overall Impressions
  • Subtlety and symbolism of drinks as delusion
  • Repetition, parallels, references, homage, call-backs, continuity
  • Jimmy Olsen’s death and Clark Kent’s return
  • Approaching BvS with mass resurrection in mind
  • New rules for reality
  • Justice League set visit excitement
  • Recruitment reflecting negotiating with audience
  • Realism reinvigorating comics in every era
  • Heavy Metal magazine influence
  • Smoother transitions
  • Function of flamethrower in Nairomi
  • New line says Lex Senior was a liar
  • Perry White’s tragic story arcs
  • Colorado flood rescue dilemma
  • Superman’s public powers and limitations
  • Lex’s kinship with Doomsday
  • Knowing lets you go dark for the coming light

…and much more ramblings!

Secret Origin clip features Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne McDuffie, Paul Levitz, Geoff Johns, Dan Didio, Denny O’Neil, Mark Waid, and Neil Gaiman.

7/22/16 Update: I figured out the logic of planning for the flamethrower.  Not for the locals, the CIA, the press, for witnesses, or eliminating evidence.  The burnt bodies gave Kahina the cover-story to excuse your lie in the eyes of Lois and Clark.  Yes, Lex could have had Kahina lie about fire even if Anatoli didn’t burn bodies but then Lois and Clark would be on to Kahina immediately.  They’d know she was lying.  L&C might not be able to prove it, but it would get them investigating rather than doubting themselves.  Lex ordered Anatoli to burn bodies because while L&C know Superman didn’t use heat-vision, they could still believe that Kahina would come to that conclusion and testify about it.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (4K Ultra HD) | Director: Zack Snyder
Justice League Set Visit Recap | Collider
Alexander The Great vs Ivan The Terrible | Epic Rap Battle
Diana’s treasure. Action 1, Detective 31, Detective 27, and Superman 1! | MOSanswers
Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (2009) | Narrator: Ryan Reynolds
What Is An Existential Crisis? | The School of Life
The Suicide Squadcast | Tim, Scott, and Brent
Justice League Universe Podcast | Sam and Alessandro

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!