Saturday, July 26, 2008

Subprime [chat]

Two cranky old British guys explain the subprime mortgage crisis. It is only slightly less informative than this.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sean Hannity: Europe and Obama sitting in a tree...

I'll say that the madness started when Karl Rove criticized Obama by complimenting him:

Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.
Obama can get the ladies, drinks martinis, and makes fun of effete fucks? I'm sold! But it didn't stop there. Republicans continued their crusade of turning Obama's qualities into his vices. Obama is a gifted speaker? Those are just words! Obama is not a corrupt member of the establishment? He's inexperienced! Obama is a Christian with an ethnically diverse background? Just call him a Muslim Nigger and move on. But NOW we've reached the point at which that strategy creates some sort of bizarro world in which fish fly and birds swim. Yes, now Obama's problem is that he's too likeable.

If you missed Hannity and Colmes last night don't worry. The good people at threw up a little transcript of the exchange between Hannity, Colmes, and Frank Luntz. So, let's just skip to Sean Hannity's good part:
Could it be that Barack Obama shares Europe’s contempt and criticisms of America? Could it be that they agreed with him on the war? Could it be that they bow at the altar of the United Nations? Could it be that they don’t agree with Gitmo or tough interrogations? Could it be that they are, or they would talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions? Could it all have to do with that? His ideology is one of (a) European socialist’s
I'm amazed by this. Hannity's entire attack on Obama's likeability is based in a portrayal of Europe as evil and unamerican:
If there’s anything that’s frustrating to me, Frank, these are just words. He seems to agree with the European, anti-American sentiment and the belief in the United Nations. But I look at it this way. America’s 4% of the world’s population but we pay 96% of the cost of keeping the entire planet sane and free. And you know what? That’s what I would have said if I went to Europe.
Here's what gets me. Sean Hannity said, "America is 4% of the world's population" but he acts like the United States is in charge of the entire world. He's embracing ethnocentrism as a sensible world view. He's taken the us vs. them illusion, crafted an entire political viewpoint founded upon that ignorance, and used his ignorance as a platform for attacking Obama.

Certainly this sort of rhetoric will appeal to people who already agree with it. I can appreciate the "boo socialism" malarkey and attempting to craft a picture of Obama as someone who will make the U.S. use Euros and require the use of bidets. But the hubris? The whole "everyone else is wrong I'm so awesome look at me sitting in my chair" bullshit Hannity is spewing at Obama's crowds? That is just insulting and embarrassing. I can understand linking someone to a Nazi and so portraying them as evil. But Europe? When did Europe become our enemy?

And what the fuck was all of that shit about the United Nations? The U.S. started the United Nations! Do we hate it now?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain: Obama's Genocide Tautology

In a mailer entitled Obama on Genocide the McCain campaign attempted to take a statement Obama made at a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and compare it to a comment made previously in an attempt to, I shit you not, portray Obama as soft on Genocide. For your consideration, here is the portion of the mailer designed to convince you that Obama does not think genocide is a bad thing:

Obama on July 20, 2007:
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

“Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.
I can't fucking believe that I have to explain this. So you know what? I'm not going to. If you can't read what Obama said and understand what those words mean then FUCK YOU!

I've been told that I need to be nicer, that attacking people is not the best way to communicate a message. That some folks, god bless 'em, are just a little bit slow up the uptake so we need to hold their hands and coddle them through the big mean world of simple sentences and If / Then statements.

The problem is that when you look at the situation the problem is bigger than a misunderstanding of a particular quote. The problem is that fuckhead are fuckheads. That to some people McCain's argument is compelling and sensible. There are human beings who would read that and say, "Oh, well, I guess Obama does not think genocide is bad! Better vote for whitey!" And they're not skewing their understanding, they're not intentionally deluding theirselves. They actually think those things, in a very loose understanding of what "think" means!

This is not a situation in which one ought to invoke the "attract flies with honey" mentality. Because you know what? These flies would fucking drown in the honey. Seriously. Anyone who read that mailing and actually thinks that quote indicates that Obama likes genocide is stupid; actually stupid. They are a lost cause. And not in some sort of rhetorical or exaggerated sense. They're just plain too fucking stupid to help. We don't need to be nice to them. We don't need to coddle them. We don't need to explain things to them. We need to buy them a fucking helmet and put them in a padded room before they inadvertedly hurt themselves by voting for McCain.

IF we need to prevent genocides THEN we need to prevent genocides.


Dr Edgar Mitchell: NASA's Alien Cover-up

Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the guy from the Apollo 14 missions, said that Aliens do exist. This seems like the sort of thing people would want to know:

I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real.
It's been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it's leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it.
Works for me. I welcome our Alien Overlords.

My Proposal for BG

Title, Subject to Revision:
An Examination of James Robinson’s Starman, and its use of the Legacy Hero concept

I hope to examine the mid-90’s Starman series by James Robinson, and it’s core themes of history and nostalgia, by focusing on the protagonist, Jack Knight, and how the author delves into the idea of a Legacy Hero, by bringing Jack into contact and conflict with the various characters who have previously held the Starman name.
Legacy Hero. It’s a term often bandied about in casual comics discussions, especially regarding DC properties, reflecting a new character or property, who takes on the “mantle”, so to speak, of a previous hero, and “live up to” or otherwise honor the original character’s “legacy”.
More successful attempts at legacy characters actually find ways to reveal traits or elements of the previous character within the new one, something Robinson does regularly in his series, by having Jack interact with his disparate antecedents, unrelated characters, created to retain the Starman trademark.
Robinson’s series is fundamentally a celebration of history, and how an awareness of it influences or deepens character. Robinson, through Jack Knight’s personal growth and examination of what it meant to be Starman, what it might have meant to his father, actually joins the heterogeneous properties that were previous Starmen, and shapes them into a legacy for Jack and beyond, with references to future Starmen, in the series, living up to their antecedents’ collected histories.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zero Punctuation: Age of Conan

Degrees and the Waving thereof

As both a Degree Waving Asshole™ and someone who observes reality I'm often conflicted by a fundamental question: Do degrees mean anything? We all know that people waver back and forth in their interpretations of academic accomplishments. So, is there a foundation for any of this, or is it all entirely subjective? To begin, I think we need to address the mechanism which allows the duality and wavering.

I think we can break down the rigmarole of assessing academic achievement into three categories: Ability, Desire, Means. These are in no way perfect but rather are meant to illustrate a point.
Ability: A person's intellect, smarts, brain-power.
Desire: A person's desire and motivation.
Means: A person's finances, time available, transportation. Basically any non-"smarts" required or utilize to achieve a given end

These are the three categories into which the reasoning behind academic achievements fit. If I get a high score on my paper then I obviously have high Ability, Desire, and Means. If I gets a low score on my paper then obviously my Ability is fine (How dare you say that I am stupid!). The problem must be with Means. The teacher graded unfairly, I was tired, bullshit bullshit, crap. We've all experienced this and understand it. The question of valuing degrees also utilizes these categories. A professor we like obviously had high Ability, Desire, and Means. Or, perhaps, the professor lacked Means so required far greater Ability. A professor we don't like obviously has only marginal Ability and compensated for this with Means.

So where does this end?

While one may modify one's interpretation of a degree what one cannot change is a person's having that degree. An individual with a degree has jumped through the hoops required to receive that degree. It doesn't necessarily indicate how they jumped but rather indicates that they jumped. So having a Ph. D. does not indicate a specific combination of Ability, Desire, and Means but rather indicates a sufficient combination of those requirements to have reached that end; degrees indicate hoop jumping ability.

So does that mean that degrees are meaningless, that those with them are little more than hoop jumpers? Well, consider a story a professor once told me. When his intro to philosophy students asked "What gives you the right to tell us that we're wrong?" his answer was not "Because I have a Ph. D.". His answer was, "Well, I've been thinking and reading about this shit for 30 years."

That's where the meaning is found. The meaning does not come from the degree. The meaning does not come from the hoop jumping. The meaning is found in the individual. We can't simply stop at "Player A has a degree". We have to utilize a scope that goes beyond merely the degree and look at the entire situation. Yes, "hoop jumping" is an important part of the scope. Yes, "hoop jumping" affords an individual access to important points of growth those outside the "hoop jumping" arena lack. But the degree is neither the end nor the ultimate defining factor.

The question of "does a degree mean anything" is where the flaw lies; our desire for degree to be the sole point of qualification is the mistake. The real meaning comes from the entire scope of the person. Plenty of brilliant people have obtained degrees just as plenty of exalted morons have hung around academia long enough to get their degrees. What is meaningful is not the degree; the degree is only part of it. The meaning is found in the scope of the person who has the degree.

Monkey Business.

exceprted from a blog post at Boing Boing about Nim Chimpsky

Natasha Mitchell: He even got to a point where he drank beer and smoked.

Elizabeth Hess: Yes, it was the 70s so you know it wasn't uncommon for Columbia students to be hanging around at night smoking pot, and Nim loved pot and eventually developed his own sign for give me a joint. You know chimps have the same vices that we have. Nim started the day for his entire life with a cup of coffee and as he grew older was often grumpy if he didn't get it.

That is one good monkey. Shame about him. He coulda ruled the knife fighting circuit. Could've been a contender.


(blast it, I can't save and post the image at work. Monarch shirt)

Buy it here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Satoru Iwata on Friend Codes, Shitcocks

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata on Friend Codes:

First of all, I don't think the current system we have with friend codes is perfect. However, if it's an online world where you can get access to anybody without any restrictions, I as a father do not feel like allowing my daughter be engaged in that kind of world.
I can appreciate a parent not wanting their child subjected to the X-Box Live netherworld of shitcocks and skull-fucking idiocy. That's a sensible stance for a responsible parent to take. The problems, though, are in thinking that Friend Codes are a safeguard against this and restricting all users to Friend Codes.

Friend Codes don't protect your kid.
Friend Codes limit the community in which a child can participate online; one can only play online games with people on one's Friend List. But what controls the Friend List? GameFaqs, Gaming Forums, and a plethora of online sources provide children with the codes of people they do not know. Any child can add the friend code of "CandyMan69" to their Animal Crossing game and so collect peaches with CandyMan69 provided that CandyMan69 has their Friend Code as well. A flaw in the system? Yes. Friend Codes are the illusion of control against predators but actual control against playing with random people online.

Not everyone needs Friend Codes
This is, I think, the important issue. Yes, we can nitpick Friend Codes and question their utility in protecting children. But the larger issue is that not everyone needs Friend Codes. There are some people who are suited to the X-Box Live method of playing with random other people. Some people would enjoy the ability to play Animal Crossing with random other people. Limiting these users out of a desire to create the illusion of safety for minors is nonsense. So, what is sensible?

Make Friend Codes Optional
It is entirely sensible to create a system some can use and others can ignore. There is no problem with restricting minors to Friend Codes while opening up an online community to others who do not necessarily need to be protected from Pedophiles by the sensible middle-aged loli-loving men at Nintendo. Supplanting parent responsibility with a top-down method of controlling user interaction is just silly. Providing multiple channels of online play, multiple approaches to the online community would be a sensible approach. Leave Friend Codes in place for users who only ever want to interact with people whose Friend Codes they have. That's fine. But there also needs to be an open community which can revel in random matchups and the hurling of "shitcock" and "jewlizard" at one another.

We oughtn't abandon the hope of protecting minors from shitcocks. But we need to realistically assess the situation and consider the merits of Friend Codes rather than rush to the "protect teh childrenz" defense and ignore reality.

Repurposed: E-mail request for advice

I'm reposting the e-mail I just sent to a number of Hanover profs.

It's somewhat rambly, because I'm still refining what I'm looking to discuss, and at the same time, trying to quickly give a small bit of context that I take for granted... but I think it explains what I'm thinking of writing on and why. Hopefully, J and I can keep the esoteric disagreements on the nature of Academic out of this thread, and keep it to input... but.. thoughts?

'llo all.

I'm hoping the summer finds you all well. I've set up a post/comment thread on a shared blog to bounce ideas off some friends, and in doing so, refine and spark some ideas for what would work for this thing.. and.. well.. I've got something.. I just need to figure out how to approach it correctly.

I originally discounted an idea, becuase I had the material and I knew it was worth discussing, I just didn't know where or if this would be the correct venue. It wasn't until I got involved in a half argument with a friend, and used it as an example of what I could write about that I started keying into how deeply ingrained some of the themes asked for in the request ( Nostalgia, History, Antecedents.. to some degree Material Culture, but as a character detail, illustrating Nostalgia and History again).

Let's see if I can't clarify this. There is a fairly impressive body of work, a series by James Robinson named "Starman". It was a run of comics entirely under his writing direction for the length of the story, and focused upon what's essentially the Dissaffected Slacker of the 90's, Jack Knight. He ends up being forced into taking up the Starman mantle of his Father, Ted Knight, the original Starman of the 40's, the member of the Justice Society of America.
Robinson writes a story about family, about Jack coming into his own adulthood, recognizng the nature of his relationships with family and who he is, who his father is, and so forth. Woven into this however, is something equally well done and complex, as parallel to that story is a story that acknowledges the various characters that have had the Starman name - Jack and his father, obviously, as well as characters who have had nothing to do with them, but had the same name for trademark protection reasons. This is presented as Jack encountering his antecedents and and maturing in himself from encountering them. But it's also a celebration of these disparate elements and stories, to the reader.

There's a lot more connection here ( and my copies are at school, so I can't get concrete details to back me up), but there's a look at the "Starman" legacy into the future (becuase hey, it's comics, and because the future is tangible in DC comics), with a Legion of Superheroes (in the 30th cent.) member showing up, and discovering he'll be taking up the name.. A series of Dream Sequences issues called Past Lives that have Jack speaking to his dead brother, who introduces him to abandoned DC characters with introspection upon a number of things.. more that I'd need the books to recall, I fear.

I couldn't quite get a handle on how to approach this at first, though... until I started writing a short paragraph to explain this, and utilized a term that has shown up in fan discussions. DC comics have made something of an industry and a selling point out of what they call "legacy" heroes, new characters who take up the mantle and aspects of earlier characters. This stems from the reinvention of old trademarks coming into the Silver Age (Flash, Green Lantern, Blue Beetle, etc.), and has some tieback to the other DC trope of kid sidekicks.. many of whom end up taking up the role (Kid Flash becoming the Flash, after his death).. in some ways, Starman is the series that takes this idea and makes it.. I don't know precisely.. Memorable. in some sense, bringing it from a crass publishing device into a Memorial device, one that works within the story world...

This is perhaps a bit too much at the moment, but what I'm looking at, and conisdering is Examining the idea of a Legacy Hero as a sort of concrete example of History, how the device of it atttempts to graft importance to the new character through nostalgia for the previous, antecedent characters, and to examine this through the way Robinson's Starman builds that nostalgia by showing how his character interacts with the previous, reminding the audience who these characters were, why they were enjoyed, and how this new character is similar and how he differs from those previous characters.

Talk about burying your lede, here. I'm still muddling through and chipping away at this massive marble block of an idea, obviously. Does this seem reasonable? Hoping and Assuming that I've given you all enough of a small context on what "Starman" is, what a legacy hero is, etc? Does it sound like it should be further refined and restricted? Expanded?

Basically, just interested in opinions.. Thanks for your time, and back to scanning legal documents for me.


Monday, July 21, 2008

BG Paper Notepad and Sounding Board

So, as everyone's aware, Mikey linked me to Bowling Green's call for submissions on a Comic Book and Popular Culture paper.

I've been hashing out some ideas, and frankly, need a place to list them, disect them, and get input.

Some relatively narrow, and easily researched options:

The Batman Campfire Story - Three seperate versions of the same story, with roughly a decade between each iteration, the story involves kids telling their interpretation of Batman around a campfire. This story is taken across mediums, from the original comic, to the kid's 90s' animated series, and then to a Direct to DVD adult-aimed animation, with differing needs and tones. An interesting discussion of medium and opportunity, as well room to comment on further Batman references ( the cartoon nods towards Dark Knight Returns, the 90's movies, etc)

Riffs on the Superman Origin - The Superman Orgin story is a wellspring for Elseworld/What if type adaptations - What if the rocket landed elsewhere, what if it landed elseWHEN, etc, giving rise to alternative Superman characters, such as the Communist Red Son, the Cleese written True Brit, and so on. This would also have room to discuss Superman analogues, Marvel's Hyperion, who is Government Raised Superman, Invincible's Omni-Man, the forerunner of an alien invasion, Valentino's normalman, the parody character, etc. Raises issues of identity, the immigrant role, political indoctrination, etc.

Costume Changes and Reversions - An examination of the regular occurance of drastically changing a character's costume, and the tendency for these changes to be ephemral, and short-lived. Superman is a great focus for this, with the "Superman Red, Superman Blue" stories (both the original, and the modern 'Electric Superman', the "Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen" story that introduces a number of Superman replacements, and more. This also has some overlap with the various Alternative 'Elseworld' Superman stories that have the character raised elsewhere. This is on some level a discussion of iconography and nostalgia, as well speaking to temporary aesthetic choices of the comic market ( an 80's costume is not a 90's costume, and neither are a 40's costume)

And a handful of other, less developed, topics and ideas. Some of these would require much more in the way of research material I don't have, some are things I have deep interest in, but unable to pin down a discussion, and some are just topics that haven't quite gelled yet.

DC's Suicide Squad - An Eighties examination of a politically-motivated semi-covert use of criminals (superpowered) to engage in espionage in exchange for sentence reductions. Gets deeply involved in discussions of politics, nationalism and terrorism.

Transmetropolitan - Huner S. Thompson in the bizzare future. I have an absurd ammount of love for this series, deeply tied into discussions of subcultures, material culture, futurism, and politics. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue what I'd like to say about this, and my series is stuck in storage.

DC's Starman - Similarly, deeply enamored of this series, with it's indepth examination of family and history, it links a scattered collection of attempts to keep the trademark on the Starman name, and weaves a tale of DC publishing and continuity history and nostalgia in through a coming of age / recognition of self story.

Morrison's Animal Man or Flex Mentallo - I don't have a thing to write here, but would love to go into something regarding Morrison's structuralism, making his characters cognizant of their existance in a comic book. No way in hell I can discipline myself into keeping this coherrent and restrained, I fear.

An examination/argument for comic books as filling the role of Modern Myth - something I toyed with during Banta's spring term Classical Mythology class. Myths often being on some level simplistic and contradictory, involving larger than life, hypersexualized figures imparting simplistic morality while not exactly portraying the messages they impart. Plenty of places to go from here, what with Kirby's influence all over Marvel and DC - Thor, Herc., the New Gods, the Eternals, etc. Proabably a bit too ambitious.

Anything from Oni, or other Indy comics taht I have? The Flight anthologies are interesting here, but the biggest issue for these is that I don't have access to them right now, so I have no clue what I might talk about regarding them.

Anyways, this is just me, trying to muddle through what I might talk about, and bounce ideas off folks. Any thoughts/disagreements/piqued interests?

Edit: Here's the link to the submissions request

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ledger's Joker: Not the Crazy One

More and more it seems to me that the philosopher, being of necessity a man of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, has always found himself, and had to find himself, in contradiction to his today: his enemy was ever the ideal of today. So far all these extraordinary furtherers of man whom one calls philosophers, though they themselves have rarely felt like friends of wisdom but rather like disagreeable fools and dangerous question marks, have found their task, their hard, unwanted, inescapable task, but eventually also the greatness of their task, in being the bad conscience of their time.

Heath Ledger's Joker is not a crazy person, not a deranged sociopath preoccupied with murder or death. Joker's aim is not personal vendettas or individual, focused acts of strife. The Joker is not concerned with wealth, with power. The Joker is not even concerned for his own well-being or self-preservation. Heath Ledger's Joker, the most accurate portrayal of the fictional Joker character, is a Joker who is wholly sane, wholly cognizant of his place within the universe. And even though you might not recognize it, and the film, as is its obligation, masks it? The Joker is the one who is right. The Joker is correct.

That's what is so amazing about philosophy, about critical thinking, about objectively assessing reality and achieving a full, total appreciation for the way things are. When one does that, when the curtains are thrown aside and a character accurately assesses reality and acts appropriately they are portrayed as the villian, they are the one cast aside. They are the one who those addicted to the fabricated system feel compelled to stop. The Athenians killed Socrates. The Church censored Galileo. Batman beat up The Joker.

That's what is so amazing about Dark Knight. Dark Knight is a celebration of the herd mentality, the preservation of the social system of fabricated rules and accepted norms which aids continuation of the species. Even Batman, for his part, is a champion of that system and despite his ability to recognize its problems his goal, first and foremost, is the protection and continuation of the system. The Joker has no such problem, no such self-inflicted dilemma. The Joker's entire motivation throughout the film is to drag Gotham, kicking and screaming, out of the cave and into the light.

In describing the natural state of man Hobbes wrote: "the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." The real conflict in Dark Knight, the actual fight and dilemma, is not Joker versus Gotham or Joker versus Batman. Dark Knight portrays the conflict between truth and idealized, false, fabricated faux-normalcy; our struggle against reality. Joker in his scarred, ugly, tattered self is that truth, that solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and shorty reality in which we live. Batman's character, interestingly enough, is clean, conformed, polished. Yet that conformity, that cleanliness and polish are in actuality little more than fabricated armor meant to protect his frail self from truth. Even the Batman identity itself is little more than armor to shield Bruce Wayne, the true person, from reality.

That's why I'll continually offer tongue-in-cheek praise for Dark Knight again and again. That's why I'll probably leave work early to catch another matinee. What is compelling is not the cinematography, the action scenes. It's not an enjoyable film or a compelling story. Dark Knight is a celebration, a defense, if you will, of humanity turning a blind eye to the truth. Dark Knight is a cinematic argument in favor of clinging to life within the cave. Batman is our inability to accept reality and our struggle against the facticity of our being. Heath Ledger's Joker is truth. And our reaction to Joker belies our fundamental nature as a frightened herd clinging to our self-sustained safeguards which protect us not against an external threat, but rather the objective, empirical truth of the world in which we live.

Marvel Movies: The Three Fight Rule

So, Marvel is making their own movies now, and I enjoyed Iron Man quite a bit, and The Incredible Hulk was also on the correct track, but what I want to talk about specifically is the meting out of fight scenes.

Iron Man followed a three fight formula that was essentially "fight to survive", then "become an irresistible force" then "meet an unmovable object". The Hulk complicated the system a bit by virtue of the Hulk being in all instances an irresistible force, but there were still three main fights.

To elaborate, the fight to survive is the origin fight in Iron Man's case, and the factory fight for the Hulk. This is a battle not necessarily initiated by the hero, but is one that results in the unrefined application of force on the hero's part in overcoming an immediate threat. The becoming an irresistible force is the recognition that the power that was applied in the fight to survive could be used to liberate others. Iron Man takes down terrorists and Hulk protects Betty. This fight to some extent is a shift between a selfish and selfless incarnation of the hero. Fight three, the meeting of the unmovable object, introduces the foe who is equal or greater to the hero in potency. This fight changes the rules, and all the overwhelming power shown by the hero in fights one and two are now moot in the face of this opponent who has in some way mimicked the hero's capabilities. This is the hero fighting the selfish version of himself, and for me, this is the most interesting show down. Iron Man can only distract and deflect Iron Monger while Pepper delivers the killing blow, and the Hulk has to rely on the source of his problem, his anger, to overpower Abomination.

The virtue of having a relatively small number of distinct battle sequences is, to me at least, that it opens up a large portion of the movie to inaction. Stark has time to be Tony Stark and to experiment with his technology, and Banner gets to worry about contaminating people and figuring out how to fix his problem and all while both of them sort of get to have a relationship with a female. And all of this inaction makes the subsequent action much more important, and it keeps inaction out of the action. Bring Singer, I think, in his X-Men movies had to mix a bit of action and inaction due to the fact that he had such a large number of characters who needed to perform in such a short period of time, hence the furious cycling between the use of words and fists throughout almost the entire movie. Daredevil took this to something of an extreme through its use of trivial action sequences and banal dialogue. Had Marvel made that movie, I would bet that Matt wouldn't have sparred with Elektra in the park, and we would have gotten a better court case instead. In other words, Matt would be a character who fights in the law courts, and Daredevil would be a character who is his alter ego and fights in the streets, instead of the sketchy outline of Matt that, by the film's account, exists largely as a way to humanize a guy who dresses in fetish gear and beats the shit out of Michael Clark Duncan (an unconfirmed retard) and Colin Farell (America's town drunk).

I hope the three-fight trend continues, because I enjoy the way it keeps the mild-mannered and the super distinct and allows both to exist on the same film. I also appreciate how it puts each battle to work advancing not only the plot, but the character both in and out of hero mode. For me, three fights is the golden rule.