Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Gray Phoenix, or the Southern Superman, an old proposal for a DC Comics Elseworlds story

I found this file on my computer. I'd completely forgotten about it. I can't even remember if I ever sent it to DC—I might've done a draft, set it aside, and forgotten about it. With the right artist, it could've been fun, I suppose, but the only part that I especially like now is the idea for that world's Green Lantern.

Kal-El arrives on Earth in the 19th century and grows up in Virginia, concealing his powers from humanity, but not from his family. Fighting for the Confederacy as an officer under Lee, he becomes known as "the Southern Superman." He helps the South take Washington, D.C. in 1861. Lincoln is captured, and the war seems to be almost over.

The intervention of a costumed superhuman on the southern side inspires a northern industrialist to become the ultimate guerrilla fighter, the Batman, who uses 19th century technology and a mysterious disguise to frighten his enemies. He rescues Lincoln and the war continues, fought primarily on Northern soil with the Union armies constantly retreating before the Southern Superman and the Army of Virginia.

The war is noticed on Themiscyra. Wonder Woman comes to North America and fights for the U.S., for she sees the Civil War as a war to end slavery even though Lincoln still says his only goal is to preserve the Union.

Abin Sur, the sector's Green Lantern, learns that an extra-terrestrial has intervened in Earth's affairs and comes to Earth, but his space ship crashes. His ring finds a successor, a black woman who has escaped from slavery.

With Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and the Batman battling the South on three fronts, the over-extended Southern forces fall back. The Union navies blockade the South...but the blockade begins to fail when the son of a lighthouse keeper and an Atlantean decides to fight for the South as Aquaman.

Inspired by the Batman's guerrilla tactics and the Robin Hood of Ivanhoe, a Southern plantation owner becomes the Green Arrow; he carries a yellow arrow that he hopes to use to kill the black Green Lantern.

A Southern florist becomes a spy. In her blond wig and dark clothes, she is known as the Black Canary.

At last, with Richmond surrounded by Union forces, Judah P. Benjamin and the Southern Superman convince Jefferson Davis to free the slaves (as he was encouraged to do in our history). France and Britain agree to help the South, and the war ends with the establishment of a Confederate States of America in which slavery has been outlawed.

In a gesture of good will, Abraham Lincoln and the northern superheroes travel to Richmond to meet Jefferson Davis. Green Arrow, the plantation owner whose wealth was halved when his slaves were freed, goes to the same meeting, clearly intending to kill someone, but instead of shooting Lincoln, the man who forced the South to abandon slavery, or the black Green Lantern, he kills Jefferson Davis, who he sees as a traitor to Southern ideals.

Superman and Batman capture the Green Arrow together, and the story ends with the creation of a new organization, the Justice Fellowship of America.

Rereading this, I feel a little guilty about killing Green Arrow because I am a fanboy. But it still seems appropriate to kill at least one person with misplaced ideals.

Things shared on Nov. 20ths

In my soul, there is a constant battle between my father's working class ethos and my mother's middle class niceness. Mom usually wins. But when things matter, Dad does.


I won't join any far left party because I'm afraid I'd have to split with myself.

Okay, that was funny in my head.

But I remember de Clayre's "anarchism without adjectives" and wish I didn't have to add democratic to define my socialism.


Red Delicious Apples exist so we may learn at an early age that capitalists lie.


You do not have to read something to have an opinion about it. But you do have to read something to have an opinion that’s worth anyone else’s time.


Police training should include civility training. The best cops understand the practical reason for treating everyone with respect: it decreases conflict. The rest need to learn it.

Yeah, I just saw a video where the cops escalated violence by trying to be the most macho.


I never expected to live in a future where people would be punished for protecting drinking water.


"Islam is not a race" is how some people say, "I'm not a racist; I'm a bigot."


If anyone agrees with everything I say, I'm not doing my job.


Problem #1 with socialist academics: They forget what Marx said was the point of philosophy.

Problem #2 with socialist academics: They spend more time criticizing other socialist academics than capitalists.


Allies are people you do not trust; comrades are people you do.


When it's gray and below freezing, I want to eat everything in the house, then hibernate.


"Khrushchev is said to have once teased Zhou: "You must acknowledge that I come from the working class, while you were born to a family of the bourgeoisie." Zhou replied: "Yes, but we have one thing in common. We have both betrayed our class.""


I may go 19th century and start talking about the utopian left. It’s a kinder and more precise way to talk about the moralist left, the dreamers who hate practicality and love feeling righteous.


"Illegal immigrant" is code for "poor immigrant". With few exceptions, legal immigrants meet wealth requirements.


Two-party system: Vote for a party, get shafted until you can't stand it, vote for other party, get shafted until... Repeat until you die.


#1 signs of cognitive dissonance online: blocking instead of talking, raging instead of engaging.


A Black Bloc rioter is Schrodinger's police provocateur.


“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ―Aristotle

Gen X had it easier than Boomers did

From The Economic Consequences of Millennial Health | Blue Cross Blue Shield:

Don't blame the boomers, it was gen X that sat by and let the world crumble | The Independent:
I remember sitting opposite a fellow gen X-er lamenting the dismal state of British politics over lunch. “We let it happen though, didn’t we?” he said. “We didn’t get involved. Perhaps we should have. But we were too busy having fun.”
It's been millennials vs boomers for too long: it's time to start blaming Generation X | Nick Evershed | Opinion | The Guardian:
If we look at the composition of governments and who is leading countries, it’s clear that Gen X should start shouldering some of the blame. They’ve been in positions of power for a while now, and terrible thinkpieces that fan the flames of generational warfare should start to reflect this. Should Gen X be doing more to address the climate crisis even though it is largely the fault of boomers? I say yes, yes they should. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Things shared on Nov. 19ths

“Nice” is meaningless—many of the worst people treat friends and acquaintances well. Character is revealed by how you treat your opponents.


Has anyone ever been insulted into changing their mind?


People who insist two things are "apples and oranges" are often unable to see that they're fruit.

And some people who insist two things are "apples and oranges" can't tell the difference between a Haralson and a Red Delicious.

When people say something is "apples and oranges", you are usually leaving the realm of logic and entering the realm of faith.


“People are too eager to say ‘This legendary person had flaws!’ instead of, ‘Wow, this flawed human being managed to do something legendary.’” — Mishell Baker


The basic difference between socialists and left identitarians: The racial proportions of US poverty have not changed since King's day. Identitarians conclude the problem is the persistence of racism. Socialists conclude the problem is the persistence of poverty.

Identitarians do not have a solution for racism, but socialists do have a solution for poverty, a solution that King advocated: share the wealth.

Identitarians often say, "Sharing the wealth won't end racism!" That's like saying taking the train won't grow potatoes.


Hamilton is the show of the left bourgeoisie. Does the right bourgeoisie have a show too, or do they just get expensive sports tickets?


A romantic version of a job that was done by poor people of all races.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Things shared on Nov. 18ths

I am constantly surprised by Democrats who say the candidate in 2020 shouldn’t be the country’s most popular politician.

Okay, I could’ve ended that sentence after “Democrats”.


Chandler famously couldn't remember who killed the chauffeur in Big Sleep. My theory: Joe Brody killed him to get the pictures and lied to Marlowe, then was killed by Lundgren before he could confess.


I get the "winter" part. It's the "wonderland" I'm still working on.


Dear leftists, the goal is to be better than the right, not just as bad.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Things shared on Nov. 17ths

Dear conservatives who talk about crony capitalism:

Capitalists are human. Humans have cronies. Please stop being redundant.


Yr. socialist friend who wants you to up your game


I'm trying to decide if "tradcon" is useful. If so, "tradlib" is not because the Gilded Age liberal is not the New Deal liberal who is not the neoliberal.


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