Friday News: The Rocketeers, Andrew Luck Book Club, Elon Musk’s book PR, and euphemisms
DISNEY TO REBOOT “THE ROCKETEER” WITH BLACK FEMALE LEAD – Cult classic film “The Rocketeer” is getting a sequel/reboot (are those two things contradictory?), and it looks like perhaps someone got the memo that Hollywood needs more diversity:
“The Rocketeers” will take place six years after the original Rocketeer disappeared while fighting the Nazis. In his absence, a young African-American pilot dons the jetpack in order to stop a scientist from using technology to turn the tide of the Cold War. – Comic Book Resources
Andrew Luck makes additions to book club – Yet another addition to the year of the book club – this time by Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck, who is apparently known as the NFL’s “unofficial librarian.” Given the lag in reading by boys, this seems like a great thing. Luck’s current choices are The Martian and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Why two books at a time?
Starting in April, Luck began introducing a book for “rookies,” or younger people, and a book for “veterans,” or older people. The club uses social media to track readers’ journeys through the books and post thoughts, comments, and questions. He also plans to post Q&A sessions. Luck planned to release the book selections in stages corresponding with the NFL schedule: off-season, mini-camp, summer training, and pre-season. He will bring in guest athletes to take over for him until after the Super Bowl.
There is no sign-up or login for the book club. Interested readers just need to follow the club on social channels and use the hashtag #ALBookClub. – UPI
This Book Is Sold Out Because Elon Musk Is Reading It – Speaking of reading influence, Elon Musk now apparently has the power to make books disappear from stock. When Musk recently told a reporter that he was reading the 1929 book, Twelve Against the Gods, the book price blasted up like Musk hopes one of his SpaceX capsules will. For some reason I do not find this inspiring.
His mere mention of the somewhat rare book—which features biographies of 12 historical figures, from Alexander the Great to Woodrow Wilson—sent readers scrambling to buy copies. Radall noted that the price of the book on Amazon.com shot up from a little more than $6 to $99.99 within hours before the stock of around a dozen copies sold out.
Amazon’s page for the book, first published in 1929, now reads “Out of Print—Limited Availability.” The English-language version also appears to be sold out on AbeBooks, Alibris, and Barnes & Noble. – Fortune
Euphemise this – Although I’ve found plenty in John McWhorter’s work to disagree with, this relatively sensible take on euphemisms is a good reminder that language is not static, and that our cultural and social baggage continually “gunks” up words, especially euphemistic descriptions, requiring that we evolve both the words and their connotations:
What the cognitive psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker has artfully termed ‘the euphemism treadmill’ is not a tic or a stunt. It is an inevitable and, more to the point, healthy process, necessary in view of the eternal gulf between language and opinion. We think of euphemisms as one-time events, where one prissily coins a way of saying something that detracts from something unpleasant about it. That serves perfectly well as a definition of what euphemism is, but misses the point that euphemism tends to require regular renewal. This is because thought changes more slowly than we can change the words for it, and has a way of catching up with our new coinages. Since that is likely eternal, we must accept that we’ll change our terms just like we change our underwear, as a part of linguistic life in a civilised society. – Aeon