Justice League of Hollywood
By day they ply their exalted trade as thespians on the world stage, embodying the hopes and dreams of their legions of fans. But when the sound stages go dark and the catering packs up, a select few of the Hollywood elite, endowed with otherworldly powers beyond the ken of common folk, take to the night streets of Hollywood and Beverly Hills (or around the world, as location shooting permits), righting wrongs and battling the forces of evil. George Clooney is Synergio, master of the ancient art of strategic personal branding and wielder of the Knowing Smirk. Gwyneth Paltrow is Hype, able to raise or lower the Q rating of any person on earth, using only the super-kinetic powers of her mind. Taylor Kitsch is Unsealio, capable of opening all manner of balky condiment jars, child-safe prescription containers and molded plastic anti-theft packaging, with only his bare hands. Blake Lively is Beardra, who, with her all-powerful Penumbra of Femininity, is able to provide even the most transparently gay action-movie hunks with plausible heterosexual romantic cover. Together with Zooey Deschanel as Sophistra, Elf Queen of the Elegant #Humblebrag, this alliance of A-list celebrity superstars faces its greatest challenge when an Iranian terrorist splinter cell, financed by the Saudi royal family, attempts to hijack the western world’s stockpiles of Botox and human growth hormone. Will the Justice League of Hollywood triumph? Or will the world’s unrealistic standards of beauty be compromised?
A Race Against Time
See, there’s this guy, he’s a physicist, but way out there on the cosmological fringe, tinkering with theories of special and general relativity, gravitational singularities and such, I won’t get into it except to say it’s totally possible and involves theories of space-time dilation, but anyway, he invents a Time Machine. But the thing is, it turns out that the world’s history is basically hundreds and hundreds of millions of years of not that much, you know? I mean, virtually all of it is inaccessible to the Time Traveler because the atmosphere is mostly CO2, or there’s inland seas or glaciers popping up everywhere. Even if you get a patch of land going, a frigging passing dragonfly is the major event of the week. Human history is a fraction of an eyeblink in time, and even most of that is pretty much empty grass fields of nothing, with occasionally a couple of people sitting on a log, smoking stinky pipes and complaining about the food. It doesn’t take the physicist long to discover that all of human civilization on earth amounts to about 6,000 years, give or take, then a rapid die-off followed by umpteen million years of more seas and glaciers, a handful of inconsequential rodents, then a long, gradually increasing aridity and increase of temperature until the earth is engulfed by the dying sun. So anyway, the physicist eventually moves the Time Machine out to the garage, puts a tarp over it, and takes a tenured job in the physics department at UC Santa Barbara. Continue reading