Just as Minneapolis gets named the Best Possible City in America Hoorah we have to endure another Vortex of the polar variety. My weather app says it feels like -24, and you know, if it feels like -24, it might as well be -24. The worst part is this is the NOON temp, and it only gets colder from here.

But hey, let’s tear down the skyways.

TV Here’s a sentence that would have made no sense before the internet: That TV show made by the big bookstore for your phone has been renewed. Or, in modern terms: the series produced by Amazon, and available for mobile devices on their Prime App, will be returning. It’s “The Man in the High Castle,” a dystopian tale set in America long after we lost WW2. The pilot was quite good, and it looked perfect:

It’s filled with details that require a second look; at first I didn’t note how a billboard in Japanese-occupied San Francisco shifts from a candy to Rice-a-Roni, just like modern billboards. But most of the tech in the show is late 50s, early 60s; it’s the show’s way of hinting at the technological superiority of the occupiers, compared perhaps to the Germans. Then there’s this:

Writer Frank Spotnitz explains:

The most popular comedy in Nazi Germany was called The Punch Bowl, so I thought well maybe there was a sequel, you know for the American territory. Rock Hudson and June Allyson are appropriately wholesome stars who you could imagine would be approved by the Nazi’s but obviously Rock Hudson has a secret and I thought it just tells you so much already from the get go.

If you’re curious, “The Punch Bowl” is available for free at archive.org. Towards the end of the war, there wasn’t a lot of money for credits:

It’s a nostalgic comedy, and you can understand why.

Elsewhere in the rectangular visual medium, a theory:

Since 1993, The Simpsons has not taken place in the real world, but in the deteriorating mind of a vegetative Homer Simpson.

The comments argue the matter with great vigor. Did you know there’s a split between people who think the show was once great, but now staggers on as a miserable reminder of how far it fell? Not really. Most people who care enough to post about the show take that for granted, which makes you wonder who’s still watching it.

So you can add “coma / dream” to “St. Elsewhere,” “Lost,” “Newhart,” and “The Walking Dead.” See, Rick never woke from the coma, and everything is a dream. Because that’s just how dreams are, right? Linear, plot-driven, with one peculiar unrealistic aspect that’s faithfully maintained throughout the entire dream.

When Rick reacts as if he’s just been given a cold catheter, then the “coma” theory might seem likely.

LAW I’m not one of those people who think Mickey Mouse should be in the public domain. But I want to make a T-shirt with the beloved icon of childhood giving people the middle finger and grabbing his junk! No fair! Go invent something yourself and ruin it all you like. That said, the idea that an app can be banned because it has the ability to find GIFs derived from Disney (TM) projects, well. No. One developer details his struggle:

I have tried explaining to Apple twice that I do not own the images, that they are not bundled with the app and that I can't see how the it's any different to the Tumblr app itself. Unfortunately all Apple are able to do is send me a canned response ignoring my questions and asking that I submit "documentary evidence of rights to use this content”.

Can't wait for them to issue a take-down against all browsers.