Concerns Regarding Disney’s buy-out of Fox

It’s a simple enough concept. Power and trust have an inverse relationship, at least where the human race is concerned. This has been true in government, business, and religion with few exceptions.

Today, Disney purchased Fox Studios. X-Men, Fantastic Four, and I assume everything created by Groening and McFarlane now owned by a single company.

This is reason for concern. Monopolies hurt consumers by limiting choice. A monopoly on art, however, would limit culture.

Imagine it. All geeky movies, all scifi franchises, controlled, filtered, processed, and packaged by a single entity with a single vision. And it wouldn’t stop there, of course. Soon, tv, books, magazines. Everything under one umbrella.

Not just geeky stuff either. All sit-coms, dramas, period pieces. Every historical picture telling only one version of a market-adapted, corporate-approved history.

Imagine new and veteran writers, both struggling to find room for professional publication. How will they gain wider audiences if their voices do not align with the vision of a publishing monopoly?

Sure, there’s blogs and vlogs. Things go viral all the time. But for now at least, the prospect of paid work resides almost exclusively with traditional publishers. The industry is changing, yes. Patreon and self-publishing software and platforms make it easier than ever for artists to go independent. In other words, to flood the market with free and purchasable content.

Guess which is more popular online?

Maybe I’m exaggerating. I hope I’m wrong. But answer me this: Would we as Americans be ok with exclusively state-sponsored, state-owned media?

If so, this is not the country I thought this was.

If not, why are we ok with Disney owning all our movies and TV shows? All our content?

Should one company have final say on what American (popular) culture looks like?

In the meantime, I hope my fellow writers are either busy Disney-fying their voices as quickly as possible or else preparing to hang on to independent thought as long as possible. Let the record show I shall ever belong to the latter camp.

“I bow not yet before the Iron Crown, / nor cast yet my own small golden sceptre down” –J.R.R. Tolkien

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Snowpocalypse III: The Snowening

Hiya, kids! Down here in Georgia, we’re experiencing Snowpocalypse III: The Third One. Eagle-eyed readers will recall the original Snowpocalypse back in 2011, which served as the precursor to Snowpocalypse II: Snowmageddon in 2014. Now the winter weather is back. It’s Snowpocalypse III: With a Vengeance!

All of us at Conq Comix/Optimist’s Umbrella are having a grand day out in the snow.

Here is Darth Vader, leading the troops to conquest:

[Image Description: Snowy hill in the foreground and mid-ground. Background is a snowy forest. Trees are bare of leaves, coated in snow. LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader, wielding red lightsaber, leads two stormtroopers toward the viewer in the foreground. An Imperial battle-tank stands watch at the crest of the hill.]

“I will find Skywalker!”

Uh oh! Looks like somebody crashed on a forbidden tundra!

[Image Description: A snowy plain. LEGO Star Wars spaceship crashed in mid-ground, Yoda and R2D2 walking away from crash site to left bottom foreground.]

“Lost, are we. Find civilization, we must!”

Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze gets his revenge on Batman and Robin!

[Surrounded by snow, Batman and Robin have been thrown back by the force of Mr. Freeze's ice cannon. Mr. Freeze stands in the foreground, facing Batman and Robin, head away from the viewer.]

Here, Vader confronts Luke Skywalker at last!

[Image description: On a snowy hill with a snowy forest in the background, Darth Vader stands over Luke Skywalker's prone form. Vader has his red lightsaber lowered and extends his hand toward Luke. Luke's left arm is raised, as if beckoning his lightsaber to him from its resting place in the snow.]

“Join me. And together we will rule the North Pole as father and son!”

As Batgirl and Mr. Freeze argue over the power of his ice cannon…

[Image description: LEGO Batgirl and Mr. Freeze stand on the ridge of a snowy hill. Behind them is a road, another hill, and a forest, all covered in snow. Mr. Freeze is looking at his gun, concerned. Batgirl has her arms in the air, shouting at Mr. Freeze.]

MR. FREEZE: I think I used too much power in my ice cannon. BATGIRL: You think?!

…Superman enlists John Stewart and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps to help construct his Fortress of Solitude!

[Image Description: LEGO Superman and four LEGO Green Lantern minifigs stand in a snowy field. In the background, one Green Lantern with an alien head has his arms raised and his head turned toward another Green Lantern with a Chewbacca head. The alien's head is blue with red eyes, and the Chewbacca head is brown and furry. LEGO Superman stands between a LEGO Green Lantern with a brown-skinned head, representing John Stewart, and a LEGO Green Lantern with a LEGO Bossk head from the LEGO Star Wars collection. John Stewart is holding a square with plans to the Fortress of Solitude on it, while his head faces Bossk-headed Green Lantern. Bossk-headed Green Lantern has his reptilian, alligator-like face turned toward John Stewart. Superman, seeming chipper as ever, stands with his red cape flowing out. His head is turned slightly to the right, away from the two Green Lanterns, and his left arm is raised, as if indicating direction.]

“And over there is where I’d like to put just an enormous statue of my birth-parents.”

Meanwhile, it appears Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker have resolved their differences.

Snowangel

A redeemed Skywalker and son make snow angels!

And Yoda and R2D2 have repaired their ship.

outtahere

“Be back, we shall!”

Join us after the holidays, when we go to the beach!