Books of 2014 - #11: The Sandman Library by Isaac Neil Gaiman
This I did get for Christmas, and what a mighty goodness it was. I had read some of the volumes before, but this years I was given all ten. So I’ve been reading a volume every Saturday since the beginning of the year in order, whether I’ve read them before or not. Last Saturday, I finished volume ten.
Reading and re-reading these was such a pleasure! They’re clever, heartbreaking, mythological, and brutally real all at the same time. I recommend them to everyone always. These comic books are very adult and very smart, which I suppose is to, very Neil Gaiman. Gaiman’s specialty is reworking mythological ideas and figures into a modern context. I think he does this better than most in the sense that I feel like he preserves a layer of the original concept of whatever mythological figure he taking while applying the modern world to it. This is as opposed to other writers who simply reinvent them.
Now don’t get wrong. Reinventing myths is a grand lot of fun, but sometimes I do feel like modern folk go sort of far afield from what we know about myth from ancient text. Neil Gaiman on the other hand seems to be able to have it both ways, representations that are simultaneously faithful and heretic.
And naturally the best part about the Sandman from first volume to last is what is said about responsibility, duty. Sisyphus is never mentioned in a single issue, but I can’t help but think back to his myth again and again when I think of how different figures in the Sandman Library react to a changing world around them, how they change (or not).
Now, even though I am done with these, Sandman Saturdays will continue. There are a handful of ancillary Sandman related materials out there. This Saturday I’ll move on to Endless Nights. Next a Sandman story not written by Gaiman. After that, I’ll start on the Sandman prequel which is being published in serial form right now!
"One day my log will have something to say about this. My log saw something that night."
We simply can’t get enough of the artwork by our friend Cuddly Rigor Mortis (previously featured here). Entitled Lady Log, this adorable role reversal of two Twin Peaks characters was created for In Dreams, a group art show tribute to the inimitably awesome David Lynch taking place at the Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco, CA. The show features work by over 50 artists from around the world and opens this Saturday March 8th and runs through March 29, 2014.
We know what the log says to the Log Lady, but now we have to wonder, what would the lady say to the log?
Excited for John Darnielle’s novel this fall? In the meantime, here are 9 Mountain Goats songs that double as short stories.
Overall, the 288 companies in the study paid a mere 19.4 percent of their profits in corporate income taxes—far below the 35 percent rate on the books that Republican politicians use to incessantly complain that U.S. corporations are overtaxed.
The unwillingness of companies to fork over their fair share has consequences for all of us—especially in these hard times of fiscal cliffs and sequestrations. The 288 profitable corporations studied by Citizens for Tax Justice enjoyed tax subsidies to the tune of a whopping $362 billion from 2008 to 2012. This is $362 billion that could have been instead spent on education, health care, and social services for the betterment of all of us.
And with all this tax-dodging, the burden of running the federal treasury has shifted to you and me.
“Corporate taxes paid for more than a quarter of federal outlays in the 1950s and a fifth in the 1960s,” says the report. “In fiscal 2012, corporate taxes paid for a mere 7 percent of the federal government’s expenses.”
One of the more interesting revelations in the report is how corporations are masters at using arcane breaks to avoid paying any taxes at all. Take the deduction that companies get on stock options, in which they’re able to subtract from their taxes the difference between the amount employees pay for a company’s shares and the face value. Facebook used this one deduction to avoid paying any federal income tax at all in 2012 on a billion dollars of profit.
"I’m not sure I’d recommend that a young person go into law."
"When I was starting out, it was more of a profession, and your worth was determined by the service you provided. Now it’s become more of a business, and your worth is determined by the fee you’re able to collect."
Let’s get Diogenic up in this house!
RT-America anchor quits on air
The Daily Beast: An American anchor working for RT-America, a cable news network funded by the Russian government, announced her resignation on air Wednesday.
“As a reporter on this network I face many ethical and moral challenges especially me personally coming from a family whose grandparents came here as refugees during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet forces,” she said, immediately following a report claiming that the new Ukrainian government, which ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, is composed mainly of fascists and neo-Nazis. “I’m very lucky to have grown up here in the United States. I’m the daughter of a veteran. My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country. And that is why personally I cannot be part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I am proud to be an America and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast I’m resigning.”
Earlier this week, RT host Abby Martin ended her program by denouncing Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. Martin remains an employee of the network.
That’s called truth to power.