Archive for 2030

odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Ah, Black Friday. Some folks look forward to it even more than Thanksgiving. As I’ve mentioned before, being wretchedly poor severely curtails both a person’s ability and interest to stand in line for five hours to buy a $200 dollar laptop computer or whatever. I’ve never been big on venturing out on Black Friday until we moved to Ohio and I started frequenting Half-Price Books. Since then, I’ve been in regular attendance at their Black Friday sale wherein the first 100 shoppers receive a $5 dollar gift card. Book lovers aren’t like people looking for a good value on flat screen televisions; you’re not apt to be trampled to death by someone who’s looking for paperbacks.

That being said, there is ONE non-literary Black Friday deal I would consider pursuing. Target seems to have excellent deals on DVDs throughout Friday and according to many advertisements, it looks as if they will have every season of Gilmore Girls on sale for $8 bucks today.

I am a great fan of Gilmore Girls and yes, I am in possession of a Y chromosome. An ex-girlfriend of mine started me on watching GG during my college years; I expected the show to be a candy-colored nightmare based on the premise (They’re mother and daughter… and they’re BEST FRIENDS!). Imagine my surprise to discover the incredible depth of character that series’ creator Amy Sherman-Palladino infused in Gilmore Girls. Further, GG was often laugh-out-loud hilarious, with mile a minute dialogue that put one in mind of the screwball comedies of the 1940’s.

I’m looking to pick up Season Five of Gilmore Girls; I already have Seasons 3 and 4. S.5 is, from what I gather, a controversial season. Fans were (rightfully) invested in the relationship between Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) and knocked for a loop when S.5 diverged from the usual happy pattern to find the mother/daughter at loggerheads for much of the season. Fans were upset, but I could never figure out the reason why, as the Lorelai/Rory split allowed room for Lorelai’s budding romance with curmudgeonly diner owner Luke Danes to blossom.

God, I sound like such a weeny in the above paragraph! Look, trust me- it’s a good show. I’m not anxious to fight the legions of deal-lust-crazy shoppers to snag a set, but if I was going to venture out to a big box store on Black Friday, I might be tempted.


I’m in the thick of Stephen King‘s newest novel, 11/23/63 right now and I’m enjoying it immensely.

11/23/63’s high concept (time traveling man goes back to prevent the assassination of J.F.K.) is fun, but I’m far more interested in the subtext of the novel. It shares quite a bit in common with my other two favorite novels of 2011, 2030 by Albert Brooks and Ready Player One by Ernie Cline.

In all three of these novels, there is a pervasive feeling of hopelessness for the future and wistfulness for the past. Both Cline and Brooks’ books are set in the bloated future of the United States of America, where problems are intractable and conflict is inevitable. King’s novel takes place in the past, but the main characters machinations intend to change the course of history in a way such that America will not end up in this sorry state. All three books convey a sense of defeatism for the United States and its’ position on the world stage.  King, Brooks, and Cline seem to be of the same mind: America’s best years have passed her by and the next century is set to be uncomfortable and ugly.

Although two of the three novels end in an ultimately hopeful fashion (I’m not yet finished with 11/23/63), I found it interesting this message was baked into the core concepts of these books. They’re not deep ruminations on the state of world affairs; they’re ultimately light entertainment. Still, I can’t help but wonder… did every generation feel this hopeless and bleak about the future? I honestly don’t think they did, but I miss optimism in my fantasy literature. Perhaps I am simply reading the wrong books.


One more thing: As with last year, Thrift Store Finds are going on hiatus for the next few weeks. Replacing it will be the Christmas Comics Cavalcade!

Tomorrow and every Saturday leading up to Christmas, I’ll take a look at some holiday themed comic books. I really enjoyed writing those posts last year and I thought I’d make it a yearly thing!

odds and ends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 17, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I MUST take an opportunity to geek out about this. I’m on an incredible run of good reading in the past few weeks- you can become my friend on GoodReads if you’re interested in a more in-depth take, but trust me friends… the last FIVE books I’ve read this summer have been fantastic. Perhaps my favorite of the lot is 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks. Brooks is, to me, one of the pillars of American comedy. I’ve loved his movies ever since my parents took me to see Defending Your Life, causing me to go back and rent all his older stuff. The man is Hank Scorpio, for God’s sake!

2030 is an engrossing “what if” scenario for America’s future, equal parts bleak and hopeful, featuring a huge cast of characters and some very prescient thoughts about the next twenty years and I loved it. When I noticed Albert Books had a Twitter profile, I had to say:

@AlbertBrooks The accolades may not even register anymore, but 2030 was terrific. My favorite book of the year. Thanks.

To which, not ten minutes later:

@capearce81 Are you kidding? I have never had an overabundance of accolades. Thanks!

I swear to God, this made my day.


As of last week, I am finished with the David Tenant/10th Doctor episodes of BBC’s long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who.

I started watching Season Two sometime back in March and two and a half months later, I’m done. That strikes me as both fantastic and weird. Folks who experienced this television show first-hand had YEARS of enjoyment and anticipation of new episodes, where as I just slotted them in whenever I had a free afternoon.  I can’t tell if this heightened my enjoyment of the show (which, for the record, I absolutely love) or if perhaps I lost something in the experience. I never got the chance to sweat out the time between the final four “special” episodes… I just binge-watched them all.

Going on a TV show binge can be fun, but I think there’s something to be said for watching a show in the way its creators expected you to watch.


Last thing: A few days ago, I received an e-mail from one of my former students. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to collect the kids who have an interest in comic books… they flock to my classroom when they hear about my library.

 Pearce: What do you think of all the new DC Comics comics?

He went on from there a little bit, but I think you can catch his drift if you’re a comic book fan: This past week, DC Comics announced a huge new publishing initiative, including day-to-date digital publishing AND a line-wide relaunch of ALL their major superhero titles with brand new #1 issues. I’ll put some of my thoughts behind a cut.

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