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Judge Parker, 12/8/22

When I was a teen, there was a syndicated War of the Worlds show that was a sequel to the 1950s movie version, but set in the present-day (i.e., the late ’80s) when the aliens from the movie — who were not dead after all, just in suspended animation and kept in secret labs around the world — started waking up and making a comeback. I pretty instantly fell in love with this show, and so was somewhat discomfited when the second season started and abruptly the time period was shifted to a dystopian, riot-scarred “near future” where society had begun to unravel, and several beloved (by me) characters were killed off almost right away and new boring ones introduced. This was before obsessive online fandom was a thing, so there was no real way for 14-year-old me to know that a new showrunner had been brought in to change things up, but shoutout to the War of the Worlds (1988 TV series) superfan who put all the drama on the Wikipedia article.

My point is that Cavelton, the Connecticut-ish Judge Parker setting, has always been pretty bucolic and suburban, but suddenly we’re expected to believe that since 2018 it’s been in the grips of “the C18,” a deadly drug gang. Well, I’m not 14 anymore and I’m not going to just accept this. I’m calling it now: these C18 guys are just as boring as everyone else in this drippy town, as evidenced by the fact that their attempt to come up with a cool name like “MS-13” produced extremely dopey results.

Crankshaft, 12/8/22

You’re talking to a janitor from the future about how the book you’re about to write will create a utopia. Meanwhile, or maybe ten years ago, who can say, I’m passed out drunk in a Santa costume in the middle of the day. We are not the same.