"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, January 21, 2011

Links of the Week

Keith Olbermann Fired by MSNBC
"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors." With that one brief statement, Comcast has made clear who is now in control of the network. A question many had is exactly what would happen with MSNBC and its left leanings which are the political opposite of Comcast leadership who prefer to avoid controversy and fully support the GOP. This might be the beginning of an answer. Olbermann, who was integral in turning the network from a third place to second place news network, was considered the most "left" on the network by most even though his viewpoints are really right up the middle of the political spectrum. He is blunter then most in expressing them. Bluntness is something people claim to like but few really do. The other shows he helped create will remain on the network but expect a toning down and as contracts expire a replacement to something that more reflects the GOP and pro-corporate agenda that Comcast prefers. If you are the GOP and Fox News it is party time as another "enemy" of the party has been silenced. Where Keith goes from here is unknown as CNN will not have him as their hatred of controversy has reached such huge proportions that they have virtual become irrelevant in the news business. I wish him luck on his future endeavors and while I have a feeling his TV career is over, he can easily have a second life online.

Nintendo 3DS Officially Announced
Nintendo has finally announced the release date and price of its next gen handheld system. The system is being released on 3/25 for Europe and 3/27 for US. The US price will be $250, the price the Wii was when it was first introduced. Hardware wise the system has a new control pad but overall it seems the specs and graphics power is nearly identical to the existing DS and DSi systems. The main gimmick of the system is a 3D look for games that doesn't require glasses but that is something that the average user will not be able to determine the value of until they check out demo models whenever they start trickling into retail stores. The lineup is expected to start with around 10 games with up to 30 by June. For long time GameBoy fans probably a huge plus is Nintendo is bringing its Virtual Console to the handheld with the chance to buy and download games going all the way back to the original Gameboy. So far the price doesn't seem worth it but that may change once get to check it out in person.

French House Untouched for 100 Years
A new museum has opened in France that shows off the house of Louis Mantin who has a stipulation of his will left his house boarded up for 100 years. The result, after a three year restoration, is a house that looks how it did in 1905. This house sized time-capsule shows off the design, aesthetics, furniture and more from a long ago era at the turn of the century.

Comics Code Authority Ending
The 52 year old authority that "graded" comics fitness for children is finally come to an end, way past its real expiration date should have been. The Code is a separate organization that the comic publishers paid to decide the all ages status of each issue before it was published. It was first created it was a response to an attack by Congress that threatened to shut down comics books for its "violence". The attack, of course, was to score "I protect the children" points for re-election. However, the code became something that retailers looked for on deciding what comics to carry in their stores. Now though, comics are rarely found at retail stores and isn't really part of the decision process when they are carried. The net result is the Code logo on title cost publishers money but they gained nothing in return. Officially, DC is dropping the code immediately and Archie in February but since neither company has submitted anything for a while, this officially puts a fork into this stupid system.

The Dark Knight Rises Casting
Two new stars have joined the cast of the movie that begins production in a few months. One is the gorgeous Anne Hathaway who will play Selina Kyle/Catwoman, in a story arc that re-introduces their love/hate relationship. Also join the cast is Tom Hardy (Inception) as Bane. In the comics the character broke Batman's back in a quest to take over all criminal enterprises in Gotham City. Current rumors place Dr. Hugo Strange as the big bad of the movie so I am guessing his role is second in command to Strange's operations.

Stewart Rips Fox News
Ever since the Tuscon shooting, Fox News and GOP pundits have been in lock down mode as they attempt to distance their retorted as being responsible for anything. However, their mandate is to attack Obama on everything no matter how trivial. But when the president gives a speech that you really can't argue with, what do you do? Well you attack everyone else of course.

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