Baby this town rips the bones from your back

The kinder, gentler, less relevant Bruce Springsteen? Via Gerry Canavan:

Right now, though, the streets aren’t burning. The night isn’t lonely. It isn’t some infested summer in a dead man’s town with nothing but boring stories of glory days. A bright new day is percolating across the land. What will Bruce do for material?

It’s not an invalid argument. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, boom times don’t necessarily produce great art, whereas oppressive regimes often do. And while it’s too soon to call the Obama presidency a boom time, and it might — might — be a stretch to call the last eight years of Bush an oppressive regime, there’s evidence to suggest that happiness maybe isn’t always great for great art.

But, y’know, if the price of getting rid of George W. Bush and turning this country around is a mediocre album or two from Bruce Springsteen, I’ll gladly pay that price.

It’s like what Patton Oswalt says:

I’ll happily give back the 15 minutes of “our president’s a sociopath who can’t speak and believes in angels” material I wrote if we WEREN’T TORTURING PEOPLE ANYMORE. I know everyone thinks Bush was some sort of comedic Everlasting Gobstopper but believe me, history’s going to look at these last eight years and think, “I don’t know if teetering that close to the brink was worth the funny YouTube impressions.”

Dollhouse of cards

There is so much wrong with this Sci-Fi Wire article that it’s not even funny. Are they seriously quoting anonymous and random YouTube users as a credible source of information? But that sort of thing is pretty much par for the course with Sci-Fi Wire lately. What used to be a halfway decent (if not exactly cutting-edge) source for genre news is turning into another annoying io9-like blog. Which is not to rag unduly on io9, which has its share of good points and good posts. I just think Neil Gaiman wasn’t wrong when he said that each of its articles read “like someone was assigned it, and sort of blogged it out in a bit of a hurry without any research or real thought.” That might be the popular model right now, but it’s not really a good model to use.

I also think it’s maybe worth noting that the last Whedon project to be hyped as much as Dollhouse was Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and that succeeded like gangbusters. And before that, Wonder Woman — which Joss had in development for a long while, and which internet hype had pegged as the second coming — fizzled out.

So don’t believe the hype. I don’t know if the new show will succeed, or even if it will deserve to. But it’s better to wait and see than trust to the judgment of anonymous YouTube users. (Who saw the same trailer as the rest of us.) Whedon and company have earned that much, don’t you think?