Today’s Warren Ellis kick

What I’m Reading
Through sheer coincidence, I’ve thrown down a ton of plugs for British writer Warren Ellis today. Ellis is a crabby, atheist futurist who has written a ton of comic books, but is currently on hiatus from comics working on a series of crime novels. He’s a fascinating guy, inasmuch as if I were to picture myself as a writer, I’d picture myself as him.

This morning, I retweeted a link to a blog post of his from today called “SPACEGIRL and why your funny webcomics bore me.” Later, I threw a link up on Facebook to another of his blog posts from today, “VICE 04: Your God is Not Strong,” mostly because I tend to like throwing controversial stuff on Facebook to see who bites and comments on it. I’ve got terribly smart friends, existing at all shades of the political spectrum, and when they decide to come out and play it’s pretty fun to watch and participate in. I wish there was more of an opportunity to hang out with many of them in person and not just in virtual space on Facebook, but that’s a problem for another post. The “VICE 04” piece wraps up in a neat little package what I think is fun about Ellis’s writing – he makes no efforts to skirt around the edges of his opinions, he has absolutely no reverence for things other people have tremendous reverence for, and doesn’t really seem to be concerned about insulting anyone. He just decides he has a point he wants to get across, and he charges toward that point with laser focus. I very much enjoy reading the results of those charges. His point of view doesn’t always line up with my own worldview, but I sincerely appreciate his ability to express how he sees things.

To wrap up the evening of Ellis plugs, I threw up a link to his “How to See the Future,” a text version of a keynote speech he gave that he posted earlier this month. Here, the futurist side of Ellis comes out; it’s tough to describe this in any detail, but it’s basically an extended, more in-depth take on the Louis C.K. riff, “everything is amazing and nobody is happy,” with Ellis’ observations about how people are unable or unwilling to see or are simply unaware of the fantastic things that exist in the world around us today. If you haven’t seen the Louis C.K. thing, watch it; then read Ellis’ piece on how recognizing how amazing the present is when people think about the future. It might make you see the world around you in a slightly different light.

What I’ve Been Thinking About
A ton of thoughts racing through my head about things I can’t even talk about.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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