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:

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Uh oh! Looks like somebody crashed on a forbidden tundra! Yoda and R2D2, heads just barely over the snow, walk through a frozen plain!

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Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze gets his revenge on Batman and Robin, using his freeze ray to encase them in snow!

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Here, Vader confronts Luke Skywalker at last! Behold, Luke Skywalker, fallen in the snow, his lightsaber out of reach, as Vader looms over him!

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“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…

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Here, the Green Lantern Corps assists Superman with the construction of the Fortress of Solitude:

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

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A redeemed Skywalker and son make snow angels!

And Yoda and R2D2 have repaired their ship.

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“Be back, we shall!”

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