Of Symbolism, Surveillance and Script Leaks (Week ending 11/7/14)

There are images powerful and evocative to each of us. The planes striking the World Trade Centre trigger horror and sadness. The face of a newborn engenders love and stops your heart. A little box opening that contains a special ring brings either joy or complete terror, depending on if you’re up for that or not.

For me, one of the most powerful images is Batman’s insignia. No, it’s not just because Batman is an awesome kickass dude who’s got a larger media presence than Barack Obama these days. It’s because, at a darker time in my life, that symbol meant things to me that kept me going. It still does, though obviously I’m in a far better place now; I couldn’t exactly make quips about terrifying marriage proposals if I was still feeling crappy.

These images mean different things to different people. Sometimes, every once in a while, that meaning can make a terrible, tragic event have just a little bit of light cast upon it. With that in mind…



A young boy murdered by his grandparents will be allowed to have the Superman logo on his memorial



This was originally going to run with the headline “won’t be allowed” (using this article from The Beat) but I’m so glad they reversed their decision before I had to run this post. Jeffrey’s story is heartbreaking, and the response both from Todd Boyce and the online community at large has been fantastic.

Superheroes mean a lot to me, in particular the symbolism they embody through those chest sigils that signify strength, perseverance and hope for the future. I’m glad Jeffrey managed to find a little of that, at least, and that DC have eventually recognised it’s better to engage with that rather than quibble over associations between superhero symbols and negative aspects (as was suggested by a few net pundits as reasons why they held back in the first place). If anything, a superhero’s most needed moment is when those negative aspects manifest themselves.

I’m not going to berate DC for taking as long as they did in reversing their decision, but will simply just say “good on ya.”


A student found a GPS on his car belonging to the FBI


This is not the place to have a full-on discussion relating to surveillance, privacy and the legality of interfering with either. Suffice it to say this is scary, and not just because American federals agencies are continuing the kind of practices Edward Snowden would pitch a fit over.

Let’s just be glad they didn’t drone-strike him instead.


The first five scripts for Doctor Who Series 8 have leaked



I have not read them. I do not want to read them. I do not want to know anything about them.

Just keep your eyes open, and maybe stay off 4chan and Reddit for a while.


GameSpot are apparently considering some very stupid “pre-order exclusive” shenanigans


I admit, I’m falling out of the gaming scene a little right now. The twin guns of disappointment that were Watch Dogs and that overpriced South Park game (the latter of which is a good game, but not for the price it’s worth) coupled with how dreary last year’s releases were has pushed me towards other areas of cultural interest instead. Like taking photos of Lego superheroes in various poses around my kitchen. No, seriously, that’s a thing that I do.

That said, I do think this is so totally the wrong move. Exclusive skins is one thing, but exclusive gameplay is just gonna incite rage within the community you’re attempting to sell to. Granted, most gamers get uppity about almost anything that’s different to the norms they prefer, but this’d turn it all up to 11.

Also, how are international gamers supposed to get in on that?


All Men Must Drink: Game of Thrones wines on their way


game of thrones wines

You have no idea how hard it was to think of a Game of Thrones pun that hasn’t already been done for this story (though I’m sure now I’ve said that it’ll turn out someone else used my idea first).

The only thing that makes this news more awesome than it already is, is the fact it’s Australian. Remember how pissed off a bunch of us were when Star Trek beer made an appearance but only in the US?

Check and mate.


Here are 13 really cool, ethically questionable lifehacks you probably should never use


Unless you want to be awesome.


Some guy’s running a Kickstarter to make goddamn potato salad


Let me just state I have less of a problem with the guy himself than I do the response to the Kickstarter. A bunch of people on the net, particularly those of the artistic persuasion, are annoyed that this rubbish has gained tens of thousands of $s whilst their own blood, sweat and tears-driven projects get paltry results in comparison.

I can definitely see where they’re coming from, and agree to an extent, but I don’t think the guy knew he’d get this kind of reaction when he threw the Kickstarter up. If you’re gonna get indignant, probably blame 4chan. I’d bet good money they’ve got a few fingers in this pie…er, salad.


This may be the worst Star Wars exhibit known to man


Presented without further comment.


Dumbo – yes, that Dumbo – is getting a live-action remake



I got nothing, guys.


George R. R. Martin has a succinct response to anyone who asks if, not when, he’ll finish the Game of Thrones books



George, maybe you wouldn’t have to field responses like that if you actually, y’know, got the books out alright. And no, don’t tell me it’s because it takes time to get the artistry right – A Feast for Crows took five years and it sucked. Stop adding unnecessary crap, write your damn books (or at the very least get a laptop) and quit baiting people.


That’s all for this week. Come back next Friday for another Bite!


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