Headline: Bud Light's New Can Is Trying to Distract You From the Real Problem With Beer Today

Really? That's quite the job. Hate to work for that ad agency. Alright, redesign our label to boost sales, but just so you know there are underlying concerns about the beer industry, and we don't want anyone to know them. So come up with something eye-catching, but confuses and discourages additional intellectual inquiry. The article eventually cites the problem, which is consolidation. The big brewers are buying craft brewers. So? They're not changing the recipes. But we have to find something wrong with things, or what's the point of being a Gawker blog.

The result of the redesign:

That's nice. Better than the predecessors.

As the article notes, every brand had its swoosh phase. The Time of Swoosh has passed, though, and redesigns are rolling through every aisle of the grocery store. Everyone wants the badge of authenticity bestowed by hand-written text and simple letterpress graphics.

Here's something they tried last year:

That's very 80s. This Adweek piece of puffery said:

"The [individualized cans are] very much in line with what Bud Light wants to do for millennials," said Alex Lambrecht, vp of Bud Light. "We know they want something unique and an unexpected experience, and I feel that they will be so surprised and inspired when they order a Bud Light and get these cans."

Probably so. The printing technology was capable of 32 million permuntations, which means each can was unique. Somewhere in someone's basement is a substantial collection of the cans, and somewhere some day there will be a descendent at an antique store, dismayed that these things aren't worth very much money.

TREK Shatner wants to come back as Kirk. Good. Why wouldn't he? It's not like that sequel to the Twilight Zone episode is happening any time soon.

Although he met with Star Trek executive producer J.J. Abrams to discuss an appearance in 2009's franchise reboot, it ended up not happening. Shatner asked, "How would they handle it, in science-fiction terms? I'm older, I'm heavier, I'm — all the problems of age. So what did Captain Kirk do? Die and age? Doesn't sound science-fiction-y enough. Or maybe you make him really old. I don't know. It seems to have beggared Abrams' imagination."

Never shy on his own merits, our Shat, and good for him. It would be nice to wipe away the memory of Kirk's lame death and lousy last words. BTW, the Twilight Zone ep I mentioned isn't the one about the gremlin on the wing; it's the other one. Can you think of its plot without looking it up?

GEEK It's another "what's wrong with Superman" story. Last week: silly new powers. This week: how DC messed up the character over the years.

Away from his creators and under DC’s management, Superman changed from a rabble-rousing populist into a bland icon of the establishment, cycling through the same sets of adventures every few years: a hero with nothing better to do than devise elaborate pranks to play on Lois Lane. Despite the gloriously silly super-science of Silver Age Superman, with its time-travel, transformation rays, and bottled cities, the engine rusted under the hood.

The "gloriously silly" era was juvenile for a good reason: the comics were for kids. Then mainstream comics decided to chase the alternative audience:

The 1986 Dark Knight Returns, one of the landmark wave of “mature” superhero comics, cast him as a Reaganite stooge and ended with Batman knocking him out. The choice directly shadowed Superman’s history up until the present. The dour trailers for Batman v Superman draw directly from the imagery of The Dark Knight Returns, with several shots paralleling panels from the earlier comic. The effect is to shout for everybody watching: This is a serious film. Pointedly, in these trailers Superman never once smiles.

Because Grim is Dark and Dark is Deep. In the comments people argue about Supe vs. Cap, at least the movie version of the latter. I've no idea what the comics version of Captain America is doing these days, and at this point I'm afraid to ask.

Anyway. The point of the piece concerns getting Superman back to basics, like this:

We also see Superman as the ultimate communicator--invulnerable to pain, he needs none of the physical defensive postures we take for granted and so would be incredibly relaxed and open--the big smile, the instant handshake, the conviction that everyone he meets is to be regarded as a friend until he proves otherwise. Superman should be indefatigable and trustworthy. No more "Bad Superman" or "Crazy Superman" stories for a while. His curiosity and kindness are childlike in their purity but he should also be frighteningly quick and clever. The combination of contradictory qualities adds to his slightly removed air. The eyes go vague when he looks at your electrical field for a second and gets the idea for an oscillating defensive forcefield based on the rhythms of your pulse rate. Sometimes he seems not all here, but it’s only because he’s much more here than we can sensibly hope to be.

Nice idea - and it's almost 20 years old. That's the Grant Morrison et al reboot proposal from 1998. It won't go over well with the modern editors, who are more interested in Superman beating up policemen. Really.