Monday News: Post-election reading, Seuss v. Star Trek, propaganda’s long history, and Kate McKinnon’s Hallelujah
Post-Election Reading: Bookseller Picks – For those of us who are still reeling from/traumatized by/unable to logically process/terrified by the implications of last week’s US presidential election, reading may be a challenge. Time for comfort reading, escapism, political commentary, happy endings only? This post from Publishers Weekly consults booksellers for recommendations for the coming weeks (months, years?):
The huge amount of attention that the lengthy presidential campaign drew has been cited by publishers and booksellers as a reason book sales have been sluggish for much of 2016. Now that the contest has ended—with a result many did not expect—booksellers are hoping a good read can be an antidote to post-election anxiety, confusion, and malaise. As Oren Teicher, CEO of the ABA, put it in a brief post-election statement, booksellers now have a unique opportunity to “foster communication and help reconcile our communities.” Teicher added that “there is no better place than within the walls of a bookstore” to start the process of unifying a divided nation.
With this in mind, we asked booksellers around the country which titles they’re recommending to their customers. For some, the ideal post-election book offers an experience of pure escapism. For others, the best read right now is one that helps explain, well, what just happened. – Publishers Weekly
Dr. Seuss Estate Sues Star Trek Writer Over Comic Book – Popehat’s Ken White put a call out a couple of weeks ago for an IP attorney (with expertise in copyright) who might be willing to provide pro bono assistance to the defendants in a lawsuit the Seuss estate has filed against a Star Trek-inspired parody of the 1990 Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” White notes that he believes that the parody is protected by Fair Use (as does ComicMix), and according to the comments on that post, defendants have secured counsel (yay!!).
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the California company that owns the rights to all the works of author and illustrator Theodor S. Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss – have sued a Connecticut-based comic book company, ComicMix, as well as the company’s president for copyright and trademark infringement, and unfair competition. It’s all over a book called Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! written by classic Star Trekscribe David Gerrold and illustrated by Ty Templeton.
Gerrold, whose real name is David Jerrold Friedman, is best known for writing the popular Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” He and Templeton also are defendants in the suit, where the Dr. Seuss estate is demanding up to $150,000 for each copyrighted work infringed, or actual damages. The estate also wants all profits and other revenue earned by the comic book, which according to the lawsuit had raised $30,000 on Kickstarter before the crowdfunding site removed the campaign citing a copyright infringement complaint. – Geek Nation
Post No Bills: The Ancient Romans Had a Version of Lawn Signs Too – File this under ‘everything old is new again’ (or vice versa). We know that Pompeii, for example, is decorated with a lot of graffiti, including the ancient equivalent of the yard sign. My favorite example in the story has to be this one: “I beg you vote for C. Julius Polybius for aedile. He makes good bread.” Although I’ll admit it was a lot funnier two weeks ago.
Ancient Romans have left us with a few excellent examples of using posters to publicize viewpoints that were important to them. The outer walls of the houses uncovered at Pompeii, for example, are covered in scribbles that serve as house signs, inventories, notices of markets days, rentals, and missing animals or items. The front of the home of an important citizen advertised public games that the family would sponsor, likely a testament to their wealth and status. – Scientific American
Critic’s Notebook: Kate McKinnon’s ‘Hallelujah,’ Dave Chappelle’s Monologue Spark First Post-Election ‘SNL’ – In addition to Dave Chappelle’s brilliant opening monologue, Saturday Night Live ended up providing a beautiful tribute to Leonard Cohen, Hilary Clinton, and hope. Watch it.
The opening was Kate McKinnon at a piano singing “Hallelujah,” and although I’ve been a part of that mob saying that the greatest tribute to Cohen would be a moratorium on aggressive and manipulative overuse of “Hallelujah,” it turns out that what the song really needed was to be covered by Hillary Clinton. Or was the performance McKinnon, in her Clinton wig and pantsuit, reflecting personally as a salute to a woman she’s grown closely associated with? McKinnon wasn’t really “doing” her Hillary impression, but she was filtering Cohen’s haunting song through an image of Clinton. – Hollywood Reporter