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Season 4

Episode 24: “Detractions and Errata”: with Lionel & Jim

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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uen Qiu in Kung Fu Hustle

Yuen Qiu in "Kung Fu Hustle." Photo: Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, 2004.

Jim begins by listing his mistakes in the previous podcasts, creating new errors as he goes. A "detraction" is actually a term from Christian theology. Jim should have said "retraction."

It reminds Lionel of something he saw at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Jim talks about his recent move from his old office to the new one upstairs, listing some of his Uncle's old books and collectables. Notable among these is his copy of the DC Special #1: An All Infantino Issue.
We launch into our reactions to Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. It turns out, this was not our favorite of her great works. Comparisons are made to The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson, which we discussed in past episodes. Lionel decides that an author presenting a future hellscape must accompany it with a sense of humor for him to be able to get through it. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is mentioned as well. Jim refers to another book from a previous episode to talk about how people cooperate in the face of catastrophe, A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit.
We find our way back into Parable when Lionel talks about how it's more a story about what life is actually like today, for some, rather than what life might be like at some future point, drawing comparison to Margaret Attwood. Jim mentions that the idea of the drug pyro was fantastic and horrific, and the invention of the type of empath, the "sharer" concept was interesting. Overall, Jim preferred Kindred, and Wild Seed by Butler.
Lionel says he finished reading Gideon The Ninth, which he loved. We talked about our plans to read and talk about Distraction, by Bruce Sterling, as an example of prophetic science fiction. That book will have to wait, as there are no copies available, and we have a guest next week.
Jim mentions that he's reading Infectious Generosity by Chris Anderson.
Jim reacts to the song News by Kraftwerk. We talk about vocal processing, filtering out the words and leaving the notes and rhythm.
Jim mentions he's be watching Blue Eye Samurai on Lionel's recommendation. We compare it to Samurai Jack, Zatoichi, and other Samurai westerns.
Lionel says he watched Kung Fu Hustle and loved it. He also mentions he saw Maestro and Oppenheimer, neither of which Jim has seen. He talks about Hanford and Oak Ridge, which are untold parts of the story of the atomic bomb.
Jim talks about Cillian Murphy, listing some of his past works, and focusing on Sunshine.
Finally, Lionel finds the Erratum he was seeking. You will have to listen to hear it.
We are reminded by this of the movie Defending Your Life by Albert Brooks. Jim compares it to The Bardo, thinking one could create scriptures based on that movie alone.
We skid to a halt.