Gas prices under $2.
Purdue University is currently running a Vote Early campaign to encourage their students to get out and vote this election cycle. A great idea if you ask me. The student political organizations are campaigning hard for their chosen candidates, of course, and sidewalk chalk graffiti is in abundance.
Here’s the thing I’ve noticed – nowhere I’m the past week have I seen an actual ad touting the virtues (or vices) of John McCain. No, what I’ve seen to the exclusion of everything else are ads either for or against Barack Obama. The pro voices are the loudest, of course, and are frequently seen to calling for change with your vote.
I suspect that it’s the demographic at Purdue that makes Obama such a hot an exciting topic here on this campus, and after all, why not? Obama is young, charismatic, and energetic, where McCain is the exact opposite. As such Obama is going to appeal to a great many young people.
Even so there are plenty of Obama hatred out there in the student body. But rather than campaign to McCain’s virtues to counter Obama’s own, the arguments scream out – falsely – about Obama’s rumored terrorist connections, calling him a terrorist’s friend and pointing out that at least one terrorist organization that I’m aware of views Obama favorably as the next American president. Frankly, these so-called arguments make me angry simply because they are designed to generate fear reactions, not to mention bring patently false. They’re designed to play on ignorance to create votes, and d such they disgust me as being low, cheap, and underhanded methods of undermining what _should_ be an intelligent election process – but then again, when was politics ever about fairness and truth?
Almost makes me want to vote for Obama just for spite.
_Heroes_ has become the show that I love to hate, which is ironic, considering my raving accolades of the show during its first seaons (right up until the debacle that was called the season finale). It’s actually quite gratifying to see several other sources around the web share my disdain for Kring and his sub-par writing. I’ve never been sorry that I turned my back on _Heroes_, and I can ignore the disappointment that I feel about Kring’s mis-management of a show that had the potential to be bigger and better than _X-Men_.
I realize that a lot of my friends are still huge fans of _Heroes_, and to that I say, You have my deepest sympathies. I’ve no doubt that _Heroes_ has many interesting and fascinating tidbits, but unfortunately you have to dig through the rest of the rubbish to find them, and by then even those tidbits have been tainted by the overall foulness of the rest of the show.
So where did Kring go wrong, aside from just being a generally mediocre writer? In my opinion, he went wrong by violating one of the most important rules of writing for TV – he created a cast that was far too large to follow in episodes that span only one hour a week. Even in the first season, I complained that he gave too little face-time to most of his characters, which made it extremely difficult for viewers to get involved with them. There were a dozen characters, each with their own storylines, none of which really started to overlap until the last handful of episodes. It’s extremely difficult to get vested in a cast of characters that you don’t spend any time with.
Now, most popular TV shows have a cast of between 5-9 characters, but what makes that work is that these characters share lives, events, trials, heartaches, and so on. They are involved with each other, and through their interactions we learn about the way they think, how they feel, who they love, etc. The size of the cast of rarely changes, and if it does, it’s only to add or subtract one or two characters at a time – and if one leaves, there is typically another entering to replace them and maintain balance. _Heroes_ has never had that kind of synergy and depth, and we as viewers cannot care that much about these characters.
The other side effect of having too many characters on so many different sub-arcs is that it leaves the storyline thin and stretched. I don’t doubt that Kring has some amazing conspiracies and secrets woven into the fabric of his show, but with so many characters gallivanting about the country doing their own thing, there just isn’t time in an hour to flesh any of these plot points out effectively. As a result, the writing comes across is sloppy and slipshod, and Kring – rather deservedly – gets a bad rap.
What Kring really needs to do is trim his cast of characters down to about eight or nine favorites, kill off the rest, and bring his chosen ones together as a team to face off against crime and villainy. Then, I think, he stands a chance of salvaging _Heroes_ from a fate worse than death.
Scalzi’s got this one exactly right:
bq. I propose trading in Columbus Day, a worthless “surprise! You don’t get mail today!” holiday if there ever was one, for an Election Day holiday instead — a real holiday, where you get to skip work and everything. “#”:http://whatever.scalzi.com/2008/10/13/oh-wait/
Bungie has finally “dropped a trailer”:http://www.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?type=topnews&link=ournextgame for their latest reveal – an expansion (presumably) for Halo 3 set during events between Halo 2 and Halo 3. Our new hero is an ODST(Orbital Dropshock Trooper), alone in Covenant-occupied New Mombasa.
Two things about this trailer video really fascinate me, both with regard to the city-governing AI, the Superintendent. The first is the level of expressiveness in the Super’s reactions. The icon the Super uses to represent itself is simply a circle with two eyes, and yet that is enough to convey a wide array of feelings with respect to events taking place within its city. Most of the expressions are flashed across the screen almost faster than you can catch them without slowing the video down, but it’s well worth taking the time to focus on them for a few moments, since a lot about the Super’s personality can be derived for those glimpses.
The second that’s fascinating is watching the Super’s process for gleaning information about the drop pod. The Super attempts to identify from its civilian database the vehicle on its crash approach, and when it fails to do so, it accesses the UNSC database and makes a positive ID. From there, you can almost see the Super switch gears as it elevates both its awareness and priority level for the drop pod’s passenger as it begins to use the city signs to guide the ODST to some, as-yet unknown destination.
As always with Bungie content, there is a lot hidden in the trailer for attentive viewers to puzzle out. Already I’m looking forward to next fall and seeing this new expansion.