Saturday, July 26, 2008

Best line of the day

re the X-Files:

Either way, with six years' distance, the whole syndicate concept seems hopelessly naive. The old white guys in the military-industrial complex can't handle state-building in Afghanistan—we're supposed to believe they can coordinate an alien invasion?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Now online

The final, published, version of Three Perversities of Indian Law, 12(2) Texas Review of Law and Politics 329-68 (2008).
The end of the golden age

A. O. Scott writes (via Christopher Orr) that the super-hero movie may have peaked this summer. I'm inclined to agree, though not quite for Scott's reasons. I've said to several people over the past week that, not only does Dark Knight seem to leave the Batman franchise with nowhere to go but down, but it may also kill off the golden age of comic-book-adaptation movies we've been enjoying for the past several years (clunkers like Catwoman and LXG notwithstanding). With Iron Man, they seem to have just about figured out how to perfect the genre... and then along comes Dark Knight to move out of the genre, and make the prospect of seeing a movie about, say, Green Lantern seem dreary, no matter how well it's done. (Dark Knight busted out of its genre and became other things like "psychological thriller," with one of the best villains that genre's ever had. Green Lantern can only bust out by becoming space opera-- and moving under the shadow of Battlestar Galactica.)

I saw Hellboy II just a few days before DK, and it was great fun-- visually stunning, and a lot more entertaining than the first one. But if I'd seen it a few days after, I think I would have wondered, "what's the point?" And Hellboy's not even a superhero adaptation. For the costumed crowd, I think what we've just seen is as good as it gets.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

CFP: International Theory

International Theory
A Journal of International Politics, Law and Philosophy

International Theory invites authors to submit original theoretically oriented articles on the positive, legal, and/or normative aspects of world politics. Because IT is multidisciplinary with a broad intended audience, contributions must be as accessible as possible to readers from a wide range of disciplines and theoretical traditions. Papers that are primarily empirical or policy oriented are not a good fit.

We will not review manuscripts that have already been published, are scheduled for publication elsewhere, or have been simultaneously submitted to another journal; this applies to both print and online formats. All articles will be peer-reviewed by anonymous referees drawn for our Editorial Board and, on their advice, from relevant scholars around the world. Referees for the previous calendar year will be acknowledged in the final issue of each volume.

IT will review articles up to 15,000 words (including notes and bibliography), although authors will be encouraged to trim their papers to fewer than 12,000 words before publication. Brevity is encouraged and shorter papers will be advantaged in acceptance decisions. Please include a word count with submission, along with an abstract of approximately 200 words which is not repeated from the paper itself.

References and citations should follow The Chicago Manual of Style. Citations in the text or footnotes should be limited to author’s family name and date, with complete bibliographic information appearing in a list of references at the end of the article. The one exception is for legal articles; while strongly encouraged to follow the author-date system, if that proves unworkable legal authors may substitute the European Journal of International Law guidelines (available at

Either way, titles of journals should not be abbreviated in the list of references (author-date system) or in the footnotes (legal articles). Tables and figures should be placed on separate pages at the end of the article with their desired location indicated in the text. Authors should submit their manuscript in electronic form as a MS Word file in an email attachment to (Please do not submit the manuscript in PDF format). Authors should attach both a complete version of the manuscript as well as an anonymous version stripped of all identifying references to the author(s) that can be sent to reviewers.

If an electronic version is not available, one complete version of the paper and three copies of the anonymous version of the manuscript should be sent to:

International Theory
The Mershon Center
Department of Political Science
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210

Manuscripts will not be returned to authors.

Any questions about these procedures may be directed to the Editors at the address or email above.
There's still...

snow on the ground.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Via M. LeBlanc, the Bechdel Rule, from Alison Bechdel, the creator of Fun Home.
The rule is that movies should have 1) at least two women, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than a man.

I'd never heard this articulated in this way before, but LeBlanc is right-- it gets at something important, and remarkably few mainstream movies satisfy it. I can't offhand think of any recent genre film besides "Stardust" that qualifies-- not even any of the X-Men movies, even though they had a number of women and weren't romance-focused. (Most conversations in those movies were with Wolverine, Magneto, or to a lesser extent Xavier, weren't they?) I guess the Next Generation Star Trek movies probably did, since Beverly and Deanna had an established friendship, but I can't think of the scenes offhand. If little girls count, then "The Golden Compass" and the Narnia films qualify.

I'm not going to use the Bechdel rule as a way to judge whether to go to a movie, but I do find it (and LeBlanc's discussion of it) immediately helpful as a way to think about what's often missing from movies.