The Joup Friday Album: The Flaming Lips ‘ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’

220px-TheFlamingLips-YoshimiBattlesThePinkRobotsI’m afraid that if you thought you were potentially entering an article detached from a world that’s gone bananas over Star Wars you’re mistaken, I went to see it today. At the risk of coming across like a thrift-store Sith Lord, today’s been a razor blade ticker tape parade. Over the past few months, when our schedules would allow, a few friends and I have been working our way through the previous six films in anticipation of the new release. Before the screening commenced on ‘Jedi night’ last Saturday, one of my friends casually announced that as fate would have it, he had a hospital appointment scheduled after the screening of ‘The Force Awakens’ to discuss a long running chronic complaint he’s been suffering since his early twenties. The upshot of this conversation was that a recent setback and hospitalisation had not been countered as well as medical professionals had hoped, and that beyond that unsuccessful course of action was a disconcerting lack of a plan. My friend said he was just looking forward to seeing Star Wars.

Thee Comic Column 134: Star Wars The Force Awakens – A Reaction

Nien AckbarThis past Friday night I did what millions of other people did the world over – I watched the Star Wars: The Force Awakens footage that came out of SDCC. And, based on the reactions I’ve seen online and in my friends, like a lot of people out there, I teared up when I watched it. The point of this piece is to discuss the why’s and wherefore’s of that reaction – not because I inherently think it needs to be questioned; I actually think my reaction makes perfect sense if you take into account where we are as a culture relative to our relationship to Story (i.e. what some would call ‘entertainment’). That said, I feel that someone should ask if our relationship with our fictions is a healthy thing for a society or if it’s a product/symptom of trouble. This questions then leads into a lot of other, more nuanced issues that I’ve been thinking about lately and, while this isn’t an something catalyzed by regret or shame at my often intense geekiness, I have always been a fairly self-aware person and think that it is a healthy practice to balance any behavior or interest that defines your life with a frank understanding of it in the context of the world around you.

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